It was a wet and wild game last Sunday against FC Edmonton that produced the Scorpions third straight home win. In the first game of Toyota Field’s doubleheader, a solitary goal by Tomasz Zahorski was enough to earn the victory and NASL Player of the Week honors. It was his eighth goal in this Fall season and brings Zahorski closer to breaking into the top five of goal scorers for the entire 2013 NASL campaign. Javier Saavedra was on hand to earn the assist, fighting for the ball after nearly turning it over, to lay in an expert cross that Zahorski finished with an equally impressive redirection. Both Zahorski and Saavedra joined Greg Janicki in being named to the NASL Team of the Week. Janicki’s solid performance on the back line has helped the Scorpions earn their second straight win keeping their opponents scoreless in each game.
The second game of the doubleheader featured two Liga MX teams battling it out in the “War of Champions” (presented by Miller Lite). Santos Laguna took on Xolos de Tijuana in front of almost seven thousands fans. Each team scored in the first half with US Soccer midfielder Joe Corona slotting the equalizer right before halftime. The score remained the same after the final whistle 1 – 1 bringing delight to all those in attendance.
Today, the Scorpions are in Florida to face second place Tampa Bay Rowdies. A late foul in the box resulted in the referee awarding a penalty kick that sealed the win for the Rowdies. The last time the Scorpions and Rowdies met was August 3rd in Toyota Field where the Scorpions went ahead by three goals within the first 18 minutes of the game. The first half of the Fall season went downhill from there with Tampa Bay scoring four times before halftime and another three times after. The final scoreline (4 – 7) left a sour feeling in players and fans that took much time to fade away. A new coach, new players, and three wins later has lessened the pain felt after that game. The players certainly remember, however, and will be looking to spoil Tampa Bay’s hopes of winning the Fall season and earning a trip to the Soccer Bowl finals.
A Scorpions win certainly means the Rowdies will be unable to achieve that goal and means the Scorpions maintain slim hopes of keeping their chances alive. The New York Cosmos currently sit at the top of the league. If they win any one of the final three matches, or if Tampa and Atlanta lose any of their final games, the Cosmos will be vying for the Soccer Bowl trophy in Atlanta November 9th. San Antonio and Atlanta must win the remaining three matches, coupled with the Cosmos losing three and favorable results from other matches for any hope of San Antonio going to the finals. It’s possible but all the dominoes must fall into place and with New York’s form, it is unlikely. San Antonio hosts New York in the final home game of the season October 26th.
San Antonio Scorpions leading scorer Hans Denissen is once again ruled out due to injury. The knee strain received two weeks ago forcing an early exit against Atlanta is still preventing a return for the striker. Today’s game marks the first opportunity to see Kevin Harmse after his six game suspension following the incidents after the loss to Minnesota United FC. This opportunity will pass as Harmse also did not travel with the team to Tampa Bay. The doctor’s have not cleared Harmse to play since he is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms (the concussion apparently occurred at some point during the game against MiniU). It is unclear if Harmse will play for the remainder of the season with only two games left.
“Tomasz has proved to be one of the top strikers in this league and has come up big for us once again. He is an excellent professional both on and off the field with great experience and we are confident he will continue to produce for us.” -Scorpions Interim Head Coach Alen Marcina following Tomasz Zahorski’s selection as NASL Player of the Week.
Zahorski will be a threat today but that should leave newcomers Dennis Chin and Sainey Touray with more space to create goal-scoring opportunities for the Scorpions. To keep any hope of a championship game alive, San Antonio must defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies. This victory will kill their hopes of securing that same berth and will be perfect revenge for the home loss we suffered. Tampa Bay is undefeated at home. Scorpions must change that. Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 – 1 Scorpions.