There were a lot of changes to the NASL leader board last week with all three games having decisive winners. Scorpions’ fans witnessed their team score two more goals in a losing effort to Carolina. A dismal defensive stand allowed five Carolina goals and sent San Antonio tumbling to the bottom of the league. The Scorpions were just out-coached, out-hustled, and out-played.
Today is a battle of the bottom two teams. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers arrive in Toyota Field having won their first game last weekend and looking to continue their climb with another three points. In last week’s game, the Strikers scored two early goals before a heavy rain forced both teams off the field. After play resumed, the Strikers were able to hold on after conceding a second half goal.
Kevin Harmse will be unavailable this week due to a questionable red card received late in the Railhawks’ game. San Antonio’s starting defense has been torn apart with Harmse’ suspension and injuries to Stephen DeRoux and Greg Janicki. Lyle Martin has been playing well in his wide defensive role but with a nagging hamstring injury, he may not be fully fit to keep up with the Strikers. According to Coach Hankinson, “Fort Lauderdale commit a lot of players forward, so it’s a lot to defend. They are busy players, active players so that takes a lot of communication and coordination.” With the only regular players in the back line returning for this game in Vucko and Wagner, it brings to question how much effective communication and coordination the Scorpions will have.
The fact is that the Strikers have more points than the Scorpions, have scored more this season, have allowed fewer goals, and has the opportunity to get closer to the teams at the top of the standings with a win in Toyota Field. San Antonio will have to play a new formation this week with the injuries and suspensions forcing an inexperienced lineup to display their determination in front of a home crowd. Will it be enough for the Scorpions to get a point or three today? The team might end up playing better in a new formation but only time will tell.
Our board members had this to say:
Rich Moore (Vice-President): “The team is currently sitting in last place and this game will mark the halfway point of the Spring season. While not yet mathematically eliminated, it is extremely unlikely that the Scorpions will finish in 1st place. So let’s call the first half of 2013 over and start playing the bench. Those guys need some minutes and now is a good opportunity to do that.”
James Hope (President): “I am really upbeat about this Saturday’s game. We have struggled to find our form but it’s not like we don’t have the tools to turn this around. The Strikers have a bad road record the last two years. Saturday starts the win streak.”
The Scorpions are finally scoring goals but in doing so have opened themselves in the back. The Scorpions also have their first US Open Cup game of the year coming up this Tuesday when FC Tucson of the PDL visit San Antonio. The bench may indeed have a lot to play in tonight’s game while regular starters rest up for the US Open Cup Tournament. That could play a crucial part in tonight’s results. Scorpions 1 – 2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers.