My NASL Soccer Predictions for 2013. A lighthearted look at my passion for the San Antonio Scorpions and for the NASL.
January 2013: January transfer window opens and NY Cosmos announce the signing of Ochocinco to a one year contract. Still to be worked out are any conflicts with the Cosmos schedule and with Ochocinco’s professional bull riding tour career.
February 2013: NASL announces that Indianapolis, Indiana has been awarded an expansion team and becomes team 12 or is it 10 or maybe it’s 13 to be included into the 2014 season. The team has pledged they will play TWO seasons each year. Team will be called the Indy Traffic raising speculation that NASL owners, I mean Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Carolina owners, Traffic Sports, might have a majority interest in the club.
March 2013: The long awaited I-4 derby between Orlando City and Tampa Bay Rowdies takes place in the month of March with a home and away set of games. The first match in Orlando draws 6,600 fans. Orlando wins the match 3-1 but Orlando City owner, Phil Rawlins, upset he couldn’t get 10,000 fans announces he is contemplating a move in 2014 to Detroit if the city of Detroit can build him a stadium and make him an MLS owner. In the second leg, Tampa Bay wins 3-1 tying up the aggregate. Only 850 people show to the match as across town, the USL PRO team the Tampa Flames sticks it to the Rowdies by hosting an exhibition match on the same day between the Flames and former Manchester United All-stars. The Flames/Man U all-star game draws 2,300 fans. After the Match the Tampa Flames announce they are suspending operations effective immediately due an increasing amount of debt. The team will re-organize and move to Miami for 2014. The I-4 game was finally called a draw as after 40 rounds of penalty kicks the game was still tied 27-27. The game may have continued but Al Lang stadium officials cancelled the game at 2:30 am because of a scheduled Kanye West concert later in the day.
April 2013: San Antonio Scorpions open up their new stadium, Toyota Field, against the Minnesota Stars in front of 11,201 fans thus exceeding the capacity of the stadium by 3,201. It is rumored that members of the Crocketteers may have detained the assistant fire marshal under the Crocketteers section of the stadium and did not release him till the 89th minute thus preventing him from reporting the overage to his superiors. The Scorpions do go on to beat the Minnesota Stars 5-0 thus avenging their 2012 loss in the playoffs. Notably missing from the line up for the San Antonio Scorpions was forward Pablo Campos.
May 2013: Puerto Rico Islanders report they will not be receiving support from the Puerto Rican government but are happy to announce that the islands of Montserrat, Anguilla, and Saint Kitts and Nevis are willing to support the team for the fall season. Games will be split between the three island nations. The team will be called the Saint Angserrat Islanders. The team will be made up of players specifically holding citizenship from these Island nations. Eager to return to play is 47 year old Brazilian forward Romario who files for Montserrat Citizenship the day after the new team announcement.
San Antonio Scorpions beat the Carolina Railhawks 6-0 in front of a home crowd of 9,234 at Toyota Field. Railhawks goalkeeper Ray Burse feeling the defense is showing improvement. “I am proud of our defensive efforts tonight. Last year we lost to these guys 8-0. Give us a few years and we might lose only by 3”.
June 2013: With three weeks left in the spring regular season, the San Antonio Scorpions clinch the spring season title. Undefeated at 9-0 and standing at 27 points, the Scorpions nearest opponent the Atlanta Silverbacks are 10 points back with a 5-2-2 record. Owner Gordon Hartman announces the Scorpions will skip the 2013 Fall season and go on tour South East Asia.
Finished with his 6th month stint in China, former LA Galaxy star, David Beckham, joins the Scorpions as a guest player. As to why he joins the Scorpions on this tour Beckham is quoted on saying, “Scorpions may be big in San Antonio, but I am big in Asia”.
July 2013: Edmonton’s home game on July 4th is a marketing disaster as newly hired GM Eric Wynalda moves the originally scheduled game on July 1st to July 4th. Wynalda will be quoted as saying, “I don’t believe I am to blame on this one. Who would have thought that the Canadians do not follow the traditional calendar? Everyone knows Independence Day is July 4th.” 1,000 miniature Canadian flags donned the perimeter of the field for 127 fans that showed up on a Thursday afternoon game. Needless to say the evening fireworks display will be cancelled.
August 2013: A record crowd of 17,230 show up at the 5000 seat Silverback Park Stadium for the Atlanta vs Ft. Lauderdale game. Big Soccer website crashes as fans rush to site to point out the several hundred empty seats opposite of the camera side and to claim it didn’t look that large on the Ustream feed. System of counting fingers instead of butts really helping pad the numbers for the Silverbacks in 2013.
Still on their Asian tour, the Scorpions match against the Kashima Antlers August 17th is broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel at 6:30 am CT. Around 1,700 Scorpions fans gather at Toyota field to watch the game via the big screen. Seeing the large crowd San Antonio draws for a 6:30 am game, Minnesota Stars GM Djorn Buchholz sees that early morning games may also be the answer to Minnesota Stars attendance woes and announces all future Minnesota Stars matches will start at 6:30 am. Crocketteers throw a big tailgate breakfast on the center of Toyota field. Menu includes the traditional brisket tacos along with breakfast tacos made with deer sausage. Beer still the drink of choice but is served in a juice glass.
September 2013: Hurricane Marcos hits the Caribbean and due to significant damage to the three stadium venues the Saint Angserrat Islanders move their remaining games to a US Military stadium located inside of Cuba. Background checks are now required of all away team players. Five Tampa Bay Rowdies players left off the away roster to Cuba.
Eleven Tampa Bay Rowdies fans from Ralph’s Mob pack three Ford Escorts and travel to Ft. Lauderdale for the September 14th Rowdies/Strikers match. Game ends in a draw. The Ralph Mob’s flag is stolen at halftime causing Mobsters to return home to write nasty letters to MLS Commissioner Don Garber asking for him to ignore the emails from the Miami Ultras and not to let Miami into MLS.
October 2013: Carolina Railhawks change their team name to the Carolina Cardinals as someone in the Railhawks front office checks the Urban Dictionary and discovers what a railhawk really is.
NY York Cosmos player Ochocinco is trampled by a wild bull at soccer practice and is declared out for the rest of the season. Cosmos sign free agent Usain Bolt for the rest of the season.
November 2013: Without the San Antonio Scorpions to contend for the fall title, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers win the fall championship by 7 points over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. However, due to team owners Traffic Sports selling 7 players to Náutico of the Brazilian Serie B league the Strikers will decline the invitation to play for the NASL Cup. The league then votes to send the 5th place NY Cosmos in its place to take on the San Antonio Scorpions who have returned from their South East Asian tour. The NY Cosmos t-shirt website banner link has returns to the NASL website. Link takes you to the Ross Dress for less closeout section.
The San Antonio Scorpions do go on to beat the NY Cosmos 1-0 on a goal by Hans Dennison in the 35th minute. San Antonio will have to defend feverously in the second half as they will be reduced to 9 men do to red cards for dissent. The 15 minutes of “injury time” added will not be enough for the Cosmos as they go down in defeat.
December 2013: The success of the NASL split season has prompted the league to add an additional Summer season for 2014. The Spring season will run March through May. The Summer season will run June through August, and the Fall season will run September through November. Teams must agree to play in at least TWO seasons to be eligible for NASL Cup 2014. A round robin format will be played with the team with the most points will be declared champion.
In an effort to become a winning franchise, Chivas USA leaves MLS and petitions NASL to join the league. NASL officials agree on the condition the team change their name to the Los Angeles Aztecs. Descendents of the Aztecs file lawsuit against the new LA Aztecs for defamation of character.
The opinions from this article represent my own lighthearted look into the future and do not necessarily represent the thoughts or beliefs of the Crocketteers organization. Though I believe they will come true.