Rivalry comes to San Antonio

The Scorpions biggest rivals, Minnesota United, come to town on Saturday
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, May 31, 2013

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

It's been billed as San Antonio's biggest rivalry. And while the Puerto Rico matches were a bit more fiesty last year, with them out of the league it's hard to argue.

This rivalry between Minnesota and San Antonio ended in a crazy way last year with a red card to Pablo Campos, which ultimately led to the Scorpions being eliminated from the NASL playoffs.

Campos has since joined Minnesota along with fellow teammates Aaron Pitchkolan and Daryl Sattler.

As a result, Minnesota isn’t exactly popular in San Antonio, and indeed a lot of fans hold them responsible for the Scorpions poor form in 2013.

That seems like an easy out, though. Losing 3 players to your rivals, even if they are all crucial, should not move you from first to worst like it has for the Scorpions.

Beyond that, Campos has not scored anywhere near as many goals in 2013 as he did in 2012 (Javier Saavedra has just as many: 1 goal). Pitchkolan has been used sparingly while Sattler sat out their last NASL encounter. In fact I'm told that both Pitchkolan and Sattler will not even travel to San Antonio making that excuse even less plausible.

The Scorpions just don't seem to be performing well as their game last weekend against Atlanta yielded just 1 shot on target and manager Tim Hankinson was surprisingly satisfied with that performance.

To be fair to Hankinson, it was a much better defensive performance from the Scorpions, but they didn't even look like they were trying to score.

When you sit in last place and there's not long left, the time for trying to snag a road scoreless draw has ended. The Scorpions need to take chances.

A look at the table doesn't make the gap look so big, 8 points in less than 3 games, but it's important to remember that all the other teams play each other and so they're at least earning 1 point each match.

That makes the math more difficult to figure out. Thankfully I can enter the data in to my statistics program and it's not good reading for the Scorpions.

If the Scorpions are to win the season and get to the Soccerbowl, they will need to win every single game, although can drop one for a draw, while relying on every team losing one (which would happen if the Scorpions hold up their end) and drawing one.

That is quite a daunting equation and it's really not going to happen, so now you may as well throw caution to the wind.

The vultures are circling as there are people who want Hankinson gone. These same people were calling for him to win coach of the year not even 12 months ago, so now it's time he takes some risks and brings some respect to the Scorpions over these final games – even if they can't win the Soccerbowl spot.

Prediction: If the Scorpions don't have passion for this one they never will, this is a rivalry for this team. If the defense plays as well as they did in Atlanta, they'll stop Simone Baracalello, who is a huge threat, but they also need to score. San Antonio 1-1 Minnesota.

NEXT UP: June 1 – San Antonio Scorpions vs. Minnesota United, Toyota Field, San Antonio. 8:30 p.m. EST, TV: NASL Livestream and KSAT (ABC).

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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