Scorpions, Silverbacks Managers Already Under Pressure

Alen Marcina and Eric Wynalda are both facing a tremendous amount of pressure after just one week of NASL play
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, April 18, 2014

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

In a 9-game season, 2 losses could effectively end a team’s chances of winning the first half season, and with it an instant pass to the NASL playoffs.

But that unenviable situation is what faces the Atlanta Silverbacks and San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday night as the Scorpions travel to Silverback Park in a must win game for both sides.

Only 3 sides in the league lost in round of games, including the Scorpions and Silverbacks, and now they face the task of bouncing back from results that were disappointing, for different reasons.

For Atlanta, it was the first test of their great coaching experiment. Eric Wynalda’s coaching by proxy failed miserably as his side was embarrassed by New York on Sunday night.

To make matters worse for Wynalda, he publicly blasted his side after the loss, while also being negative towards the Cosmos, saying it was his team that was bad rather than the Cosmos being good. While that may be half true it’s not a comment that a head coach,who had only been with his team in person that weekend, should be making publicly.

For the Scorpions, coach Alen Marcina was much better in his post-match, praising his side despite a silly red card effectively costing the Scorpions the game. They also fell because of poor finishing from a side that has invested plenty of money in a number of attacking players.

Marcina came to San Antonio to make changes after Tim Hankinson had been given the axe midway through the second half season. And he’s certainly made the changes in personnel, and hasn’t been hamstrung by a non-existent pre-season, where he had good results.

The Canadian manager has certainly followed his mandate, except for one very important regard: the results. The Scorpions were in last when Hankinson left, and only goal difference saves them from being last now.

Despite that, there is promise in Marcina’s team, they did very well in preseason against some very strong teams, and they certainly showed signs of what they are capable of last week. It’s just a matter of getting that to reflect in the league.

It sounds silly to talk about managers being under pressure just one match into the season, but both of these managers were under pressure before the season. Marcina deserved a chance, last season was always going to be difficult to recover from, but this is now his team and he has no excuses.

For Wynalda, his coaching of this Silverbacks team is one gigantic experiment in “modern coaching” that so far has failed miserably. With the nature of his arrangement, Wynalda was always going to be under pressure. He is not just being judged on his ability, but the whole concept of this form of football management.

For one manager on Saturday that hot seat will cool, for the other the heat will only intensify, with a loss putting that side 6 points off the pace, in last place with almost one third of the season gone.

NEXT UP: April 19 – San Antonio Scorpions vs. Atlanta Silverbacks, Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta. 7:30 p.m. EST, NASL Live.


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.