San Antonio, Minnesota Rivalry Takes New Turn

After a scathing letter from Scorpions President Howard Cornfield, it is sure to be another hard fought encounter between Minnesota and San Antonio
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, April 11, 2014

Defending The Fort - column on San Antonio Scorpions (SASFC) & the San Antonio soccer scene.

It’s become a significant rivalry in a league where rivalries (for non-Florida teams) are hard to find. But the Minnesota United/Stars vs San Antonio Scorpions rivalry has become perhaps the most fiery in the league.

Tensions got heated in the 2013 Fall season with a scuffle in the tunnel after the match, and what turned out to be a career ending red card to Kevin Harmse. I’s clear these 2 teams don’t like each other.

The fans, for the most part, like each other. Minnesota fans have been seen at Crocketteers tail gates, and the Scorpions fans still have a fondness for the players that have gone to the “enemy,” with one notable exception.

That exception, of course, is Pablo Campos. And that was made clear in piece written by Scorpions President Howard Cornfield, who poured fuel on the fire. He referenced disappointment about losing Campos (who seems a moot loss given Hans Denissen had a better record than Campos in 2013, and Campos is out for 2014) but also took a shot at his counterpart in Minnesota, Nick Rogers.

The article itself was actually well done. Apart from the personal attack on Rogers, it made a great case for the rivalry being the best in the league, up there with MLS rivalries. Up until the shot at Rogers it was a great piece of marketing, it would sell tickets.

But that attack on Rogers has hit a nerve. Cornfield accused the Minnesota back office of nepotism in Rogers’ appointment (the son-in-law of Bill McGuire) and also pointed to Rogers inexperience.

The nepotism issue could well be debatable, but given Rogers has done such a  good job at Minnesota, it seems moot, but to accuse a man who has the same level of experience at managing a professional soccer clubs as he does as being “inexperienced” has certainly crossed a line.

Rogers reacted angrily on twitter, demanding an apology, but due to Cornfield’s absence on twitter, that did not occur and even Scorpions fans tended to be on Rogers’ side.

Cornfield’s argument should be clear, his job is to make money for the club, this debate has generated talk, it was hot on twitter, and now there’s an article on Soccer Newsday. Building up a rivalry sells tickets, and ultimately that is his job.

It’s clear these 2 teams do not like each other and that should result in a feisty encounter on Saturday and with such a short season, just 9 matches deciding a spot in the playoffs, a loss here could spell the end.

After such a bad start in 2013 the Scorpions have made a big effort to change their preparations and have prepared well, it’s clear there’s no excuse. The Scorpions must win if they want to win the title.

NEXT UP: April 12 – San Antonio Scorpions vs. Minnesota United, Toyota Field, San Antonio. 8:30 p.m. EST, NASL Live.

Chris HOCKMAN

Nationality:
Australia
College:
Univ W. Sydney & Youthworks Coll.
Club Domestic:
Houston Dynamo, San Antonio Scorpions, Austin Aztex
Club Foreign:
Central Coast Mariners
Originally from Australia found football (or soccer as you Yanks call it) a great connection in a new country. Freelance writer since 2005 covering Australian and US Soccer. Based out of San Antonio but can regularly be seen in Houston, Austin and Dallas.
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