Scorpions Fall in Midseason Friendly

Giuseppie Gentile challenges the keeper
Giuseppie Gentile challenges the keeper
courtesy San Antonio Scorpions

The traditional mid-season break for the Scorpions had a poor result as San Antonio Scorpions fell 1-0 to Club Sport Cartagines. It was the first time the Scorpions had played a Costa Rican club side and the loss sees a frustrating 2015 continue for San Antonio.

It was a rusty start for both teams as their defences looked incredibly shaky throughout the opening stages of the match. In the opening minute of the match Giuseppe Gentile set up the Scorpions first chance as he crossed in for Omar Cummings whose header was just wide.

A defensive lapse in the eighth minute gave Cartagines their first opportunity of the match. After the Scorpions gave up possession Fabricio Ronchetti was allowed a free run on goal but his effort bounced wide and out of play.

In the 14th minute another cross presented another chance for Cummings after some good work from Billy Forbes allowed him to send it in. Cummings found the back of the net, but his timing was off as his goal was ruled out for an offside.

Ronchetti had another chance in the 17th minute but again could not find the back of the net after an impressive long ball from Randall Brenes put him through. He got round Adrian Cann and clean through on Matt Cardone, but his effort went over the bar.

That was the bulk of the chances for the opening 45 minutes as the match really became a physical battle that neither side could take charge of. The sides fought but went in to the break scoreless but Cartagines came out from the break determined to get the opener.

It took just five minutes in the second half for that opener to come after a shot from Juan Guzman came off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Brenes, with the Scorpions defence unable to clear, allowing Brenes to head home the opening goal.

Just seven minutes after going behind, San Antonio had another solid opportunity as a Josue Soto set up the opportunity. His long ball found Billy Forbes down the left and cut in but his effort was well saved by Alejandro Gomez for a corner.

In the 62nd minute, San Antonio had a stunning opportunity to get back on level terms, with Cummings vital again. Cummings sent in a cross for trying to find Gentile but it was over hit, allowing Gentile to gather the ball and crossed in for Monbo Bokar whose shot bounced off the post. His rebound fell back to himself but he could only send it wide of goal.

The next chance for the Scorpions came in the 66th minute as Cummings stole possession on a turnover and had space. Cummings took advantage and shot but it went over the bar to keep the match 1-0 to the Costa Ricans.

That would really be the last chance of the match for either side as the typical plethora of changes throughout the second half really broke up the flow. The match faded out, in to a disappointing result for the Scorpions who will have to recover quickly as they start their NASL Fall Season next week.

Tight Draw Brings Scorpions Spring to a Close

In a match which saw both sides looking only for potential playoff points it was an unsurprising scoreless draw between San Antonio Scorpions and Ottawa Fury at Toyota Field on Saturday night. Both sides barely looked interested, but the draw could have ramifications with both sides facing an uphill battle in the fall, after the summer break, for one of the three remaining playoff places.

Ottawa started the match the brighter side as they had plenty of the early possession but they just could not break through. The Scorpions defense was doing a good job of pushing players out wide in to angles too tight to score from.

The Scorpions quickly took control of the match and they looked to threaten but they just could not break through a determined Ottawa defense. This was backed up by a determined performance in goal from Romuald Pelsier.

The best chance for the Scorpions came just before the half hour mark as the Scorpions had a free kick in range. Marvin Chavez was able to line up the chance but his effort was saved well by Pelsier to keep it scoreless at half time.

The second half started well for the Scorpions went on the attack as they looked to salvage something from the spring season. Castillo had a good opportunity in the 46th minute as his cross was saved by Pelsier who then dealt with two straight corners.

Ottawa had chances after the hour mark as they were looking dangerous and really threatening the Scorpions. Nicki Paterson sent in some dangerous balls but both Chavez and Adrian Cann did well to clear the ball, keeping it scoreless.

The Scorpions had one last chance as they were able to use an impressive pass and move sequence allowed Castillo the shot. But that was the last chance, ending the match scoreless with the Scorpions finishing the spring in seventh place, but in a tight group below the Cosmos who won the Spring.

Tight Draw Brings Scorpions Spring to a Close

In a match which saw both sides looking only for potential playoff points it was an unsurprising scoreless draw between San Antonio Scorpions and Ottawa Fury at Toyota Field on Saturday night. Both sides barely looked interested, but the draw could have ramifications with both sides facing an uphill battle in the fall, after the summer break, for one of the three remaining playoff places.

Ottawa started the match the brighter side as they had plenty of the early possession but they just could not break through. The Scorpions defense was doing a good job of pushing players out wide in to angles too tight to score from.

The Scorpions quickly took control of the match and they looked to threaten but they just could not break through a determined Ottawa defense. This was backed up by a determined performance in goal from Romuald Pelsier.

The best chance for the Scorpions came just before the half hour mark as the Scorpions had a free kick in range. Marvin Chavez was able to line up the chance but his effort was saved well by Pelsier to keep it scoreless at half time.

The second half started well for the Scorpions went on the attack as they looked to salvage something from the spring season. Castillo had a good opportunity in the 46th minute as his cross was saved by Pelsier who then dealt with two straight corners.

Ottawa had chances after the hour mark as they were looking dangerous and really threatening the Scorpions. Nicki Paterson sent in some dangerous balls but both Chavez and Adrian Cann did well to clear the ball, keeping it scoreless.

The Scorpions had one last chance as they were able to use an impressive pass and move sequence allowed Castillo the shot. But that was the last chance, ending the match scoreless with the Scorpions finishing the spring in seventh place, but in a tight group below the Cosmos who won the Spring.

Puerto Rico Make NASL Return

Puerto Rico will be making a return to the NASL, joining the San Antonio Scorpions in the league in 2016, the league office announced in Puerto Rico Thursday afternoon. Fans of other clubs will not be happy with the timing of the inclusion with Puerto Rico joining the league in the Fall Season of 2016.

The new Puerto Rico club will bring a professional soccer club back to the island after the Puerto Rico Islanders left at the end of the 2012 season. After a three year break a club will be back, but in a new version as this club will be known as Puerto Rico FC, rather than the Islanders.

The new club will play at the same venue as the old club as they will play at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, which has been remodeled since the Islanders played there. The capacity is now 12,500 seats and has created a more professional home ground for the Puerto Rico National Team.

The club brings some star power to the table to get some attention as NBA player Carmelo Anthony, with Puerto Rican ancestry, will be the owner of the club. “Through my Foundation, I have been coming to Puerto Rico for the past six years, restoring basketball courts in underprivileged communities. Today, I come back to the island – this time with the commitment of restoring professional soccer in Puerto Rico through the NASL,” said Anthony at the announcement press conference.

It seems that Puerto Rico FC will continue on some of the old traditions of the Islanders, not just playing in the same stadium. The club’s color scheme also appears to be the same with the club’s crest at the announcement also featuring orange and white like the Islanders.

Bringing back a professional club to the island should also prove a boost to the Puerto Rico national team. In the past, players for the Islanders became eligible for the Puerto Rico national team after two years residency on the island, as Puerto Rico is a US territory having a US passport is enough for eligibility. That history saw Puerto Rico build a competitive national team and they managed an appearance in the Gold Cup and fans will be hoping this Puerto Rico FC will build a similar tradition.

One Goal Enough to get Scorpions Past Silverbacks

Omar Cummings' goal hits the back of the net
Omar Cummings’ goal hits the back of the net
courtesy San Antonio Scorpions

San Antonio Scorpions’ late Spring form has returned as they managed a 1-0 win over Atlanta Silverbacks at Silverbacks Park. The win moves the Scorpions up to fifth place which could set up a run for the playoffs in the, longer, fall season.

After a slow start to the match, the first chance came in the 15th minute of the match, coming to Atlanta. Unfortunately for the hosts they sent their effort over the bar which kept the match scoreless.

Billy Forbes was starting to look dangerous for the Scorpions and in the 23rd minute he looked to set up an opportunity. Finding space on the edge of the box he sent in a ball across the face but there were no team mates to get on the end of it.

Despite that, they did not have to wait long to have their goal as they found it just four minutes after that opportunity, and again it was Forbes who was key. Forbes got possession from Marvin Chavez’ long ball and sent in a cross which this time found Omar Cummings, who scored his fifth goal of the season, good for the league lead.

Cummings then proved vital at the other end after the half hour mark as he made a vital clearance to keep the Scorpions in the lead. It was impressive as well, as he managed to somehow back heel the ball off the line to stop Atlanta from equalizing.

As the half was closing Atlanta returned the favor when a chance was able to beat the keeper but _ Miller managed to get on the end of it and clear it. That clearance was vital as it kept the match 1-0 at the break, giving Atlanta a chance.

Atlanta came out from the break determined to get the equalizer and if not for Daryl Sattler they could well have had it. Sattler made two superb saves in the early going, including a stunning close range save to keep it 1-0.

That was as good as it would get for Atlanta as they really struggled to create chances for the remainder of the half. The Scorpions defence was solid, in a nice change for the club, as they managed to hold out and hold on to the 1-0 win.

San Antonio Soccer News Player of the Year Votes:
3 – Billy Forbes (Total: 13)
2 – Omar Cummings (Total: 13)
1 – Daryl Sattler (Total: 4)

Two Texas Based Players Called up to Canada Squad

Tesho Akindele has an effort saved
Tesho Akindele has an effort saved
Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Two Texas based players have been called up to Canada’s squad for their first World Cup Qualifiers with San Antonio Scorpions Nana Attakora and FC Dallas’ Tesho Akindele called up to the squad for their matches against Dominica. The Canadian FA made the announcement on Tuesday with Akendele’s selection creating quite a stir throughout North American Soccer.

For Attakora the call up was just about as expected, having represented Canada on eight previous occasions. Attakora has been having a solid performances for the Scorpions this year and has earned two points already in San Antonio Soccer News player of the year voting.

Attakora has been a feature for various Canadian sides over the years as he has managed 30 youth caps as well. Expect Attakora to come off the bench and look to have an impact in the crucial matches.

Akindele caps a stunning Rookie year in MLS, after winning the Rookie of the Year in 2014. Akindele gets a deserved call up for his stunning FC Dallas form and also ends conjecture over which national team he will select.

The FC Dallas man has been eligible for three national teams, Canada, the USA and Nigeria but had previously represented Canada at Under 17 level. Akindele turned down a call up from Canada on November 5th as he accepted a call from the United States but did not appear in the matches.

That left the door open for any of the three nations to call Akindele up and Benito Floro took the chance and asked Akindele to join his side again. This time Akindele accepted and will join the team for their crucial matches against Dominica with a place in the third round, two legged series at stake.