scorpions fcThe San Antonio Scorpions season is over, the NASL Soccer Bowl decided, and off season is upon us. Already, Alen Marcina has been named the new Head Coach of the Scorpions for the 2014 season after serving in that position on an interim basis since August of 2013. Also announced, Tomasz Zahorski will be returning for 2014 after the Scorpions picked up the option in his contract. Zahorski joined the Scorpions during the mid-season break and scored nine goals in 14 Fall season games.

Two more players returning for the 2014 season are defenders Greg Janicki and Stephen DeRoux. Janicki was vital on the field and was part of all six clean sheets in 2013. His presence was missed in the center defense with his absence coming from both injuries and a suspension. DeRoux is an asset at left back and was also on the field for every clean sheet. DeRoux added an assist to his stat sheet and made several threatening runs up the side.

Two big names have been signed and taken from fellow NASL teams Atlanta Silverbacks and FC Edmonton. Atlanta won the Spring season, hosting the Soccer Bowl, largely thanks to great midfield play from new San Antonio Scorpion Danny Barrera. Barrera tied for second in the league with Javier Saavedra with seven assists but also added four goals in 2013. From FC Edmonton, most of Edmonton’s creativeness and forward progress came from midfielder Shaun Saiko. Saiko’s vision on the field helped him win many awards and recognition from the NASL including being named to the NASL best XI in 2011.

Joining Zahorski up top is another new signing, and former Puerto Rico Islander, Jonathan Faña. Some inaugural season Scorpions’ fans may remember Faña from the first ever Scorpions home game in 2012. The Islanders won that game 4 – 0 with Faña scoring the first ever goal against the Scorpions and added a second before the final whistle in front of a 13,151 crowd. Faña rejoins former Islanders teammate Stephen DeRoux and it was DeRoux that supplied the pass for Faña’s second goal.

Head Coach Alen Marcina has started the 2014 roster making big signings and creating a solid foundation for the year ahead. Marcina has stated several times that his goal is to “bring a championship back to San Antonio” and these signings definitely look to be a good start. Just announced today is the 2014 NASL schedule starting Saturday, April 12th for the Scorpions at home versus rival Minnesota United FC. This will be the second year in a row the Scorpions have started the season against Minnesota. There will be 9 games for the Spring season before the mid-season break to accommodate for the 2014 World Cup. See more over at the NASL website.

Sporting KC took on Real Salt Lake for the MLS Cup title on December 7, 2013.

Sporting KC took on Real Salt Lake for the MLS Cup title on December 7, 2013.

Looking to other soccer news, the MLS season is also over with Sporting KC winning their second MLS championship in truly fantastic fashion. Real Salt Lake scored the first goal of the game before MLS Cup MVP Aurelien Collin tied it up with less than fifteen minutes to go in regular time. The scored remain unchanged as the whistle sounded and again stayed the same after overtime expired. The shootout was all that was left for either team and Sporting KC jumped out to an immediate lead. Both keepers made some fine saves and some shots just missed the target. This went on to the tenth round of shot takers when once again Aurelien Collin stepped up to secure the victory, the trophy, and the championship for Sporting KC. Congratulations Sporting KC on your victory and thank you for the entertaining finish!

FIFA WC Brasil 2014Some of the biggest news recently has been the FIFA World Cup Draw for 2014. A group of Crocketteers made it out to The Lion & Rose Pub to watch the draw live. There was a definite nervousness in the air as each group filled up with teams with the USMNT still waiting to be placed. A slight groan filled the air when Group G came up and the United States was called to play against Germany (ranked #2 in FIFA rankings), Portugal (#5), and Ghana (#24). Ghana, of course, has been on hand to end both of the USMNT’s last two World Cup runs.

Interesting matchups include Group A’s Brazil vs Mexico and Group B’s Spain vs Netherlands. Along with Group G being formidable, Group D with Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, and Italy also has been mentioned as the Group of Death. The full group makeup can be seen in the image below.FIFA World Cup 2014 GroupsWhat recent soccer news do you have to add? Which San Antonio Scorpions players would you like to see return for the 2014 season? How does the Spring season look for the Scorpions and what are their chances to host the Soccer Bowl? Which teams will advance out of their World Cup groups? What are USA’s chances in each game? Answer those questions or submit others in the comments below.