Big Week for Texas Soccer

NASL returns Saturday, but this weekend sees Austin host the PDL Final Four
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, August 02, 2013

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

While this week is the return of the NASL and that certainly deserves the usual Scorpions preview, there is a special event in Austin as the Premier Development League brings its Final Four to Austin.

The PDL Final Four will be in House Park in Austin on Friday and Sunday night this weekend and features the Aztex, Ocean City Nor'Easters, Thunder Bay Chill and Victoria Highlanders.

Thunder Bay Chill come in as the favorites after an incredible season that saw them reach the Final Four undefeated.

Ocean City Nor'Easters also had a solid record in the PDL season, but they were fortunate to get past Carolina Dynamo in their semi-final before winning the final.

The Victoria Highlanders are perhaps the outsiders. They have a proud history, but this season they weren't as notable as their fellow Canadian finalists Thunder Bay, who they face in the semi-finals which is a big issue for them to overcome.

Austin enters the PDL Championships for the 1st time in their 2nd year of existence and are perhaps the most unknown in the PDL big guns, but they haven't lost a game at House Park in 11 attempts.

Thunder Bay face Victoria in the first semi-final early Friday night and with Thunder Bay's domination of their PDL region, it puts them as heavy favorites to make the final.

Ocean City and Austin should be a very even match between 2 quality teams, but another over 100 degree day in Central Texas will make life tough for the Jersey team and Austin's impressive home record should see them through to the final.

San Antonio preps for season

In San Antonio in the middle of all that excitement, San Antonio kick off its 2013 fall campaign against Tampa Bay.

The match is a replay of the inaugural match in Toyota Field, which the Rowdies spoiled by claiming a 3-0 win.

This time will be different as the Scorpions have signed 3 strikers in the mid-season break and Fabrice Noel and Hans Denissen are looking to have a dangerous partnership.

The Scorpions come in having played 2 tough friendlies in the break while Tampa Bay didn't play a match. This should allow the Scorpions to manage a good start to the fall season, which could well set them up for a win.

Prediction:  The Scorpions come in to the fall season in incredible form and should start well with a deeper strike-force this should be a solid win. 2-0 Scorpions.

NEXT UP: August 3 San Antonio Scorpions vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toyota Field, San Antonio. NASL livestream.

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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