Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Scorpions putting San Antonio on soccer map

The San Antonio Scorpions have yet to complete their first season in the eight-team North American Soccer League, (NASL), but they are already turning heads across the country.

San Antonio first made headlines when team owner Gordon Hartman was awarded the team in October 2010.  Hartman announced that the Scorpions would give all net profit to Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park for children with special needs he founded in 2010. This distinction meant the San Antonio Scorpions would be the first major professional sports team in North America to give 100 percent of their net profits to a charitable organization.

The Scorpions began their  inagural season with a tie against the Atlanta Silverbacks on April 7, before hosting their first-ever home game, a 4-0 loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders on April 15 before 13,151 fans at Northeast ISD’s Heroes Stadium.

That loss to Puerto Rico would be their last loss an NASL match until June 23, when they lost on the road to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

However, between those two losses, the Scorpions turned heads on May 29 when they defeated the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer (MLS), 1-0 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the oldest professional soccer tournament in the United States.

The Scorpions fell in the next round of the tournament to the Charlotte Eagles. The win against Houston coupled with high attendance figures created a place for the Scorpions in the family of San Antonio professional teams.

In the first few months of the season, the Scorpions reached the top of the NASL standings.  The Scorpions haven’t slipped lower than a tie for first place, returning to sole possession of first after a 3-0 win over Atlanta Silverbacks on June 30.

Since reclaiming first, the Scorpions have slowly distanced themselves from the other teams.  Heading into their most recent match, a 2-1 loss at Fort Lauderdale, the Scorpions had a seven-point lead in the standings. It has since dropped to a six-point advantage. Their good form helped the Scorpions clinch their first ever trip to the postseason with a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay on Aug. 19.

For now, Scorpions boast the league’s best goalkeeper, Daryl Sattler, who has only given up 12 goals on 63 shots this season since taking over the starting duties before the fourth game of the season.

Leading the Scorpions offense has been striker Pablo Campos, who has a league-high 18 goals, including four back on July 28 when the Scorpions set an NASL record with eight goals in a 8-0 drubbing of the Carolina RailHawks.

The stellar play on both sides of the ball has given the Scorpions a +21 goal differential, better than the next closest team by 15.  This is coupled with an average crowd at home of 10,000 per game this season; it’s not surprising that the club is being talked about as a potential member of MLS. For now, the Scorpions seem content to build a brand in the NASL. Both on and off the field, the Scorpions have made American soccer history this season.

The Scorpions are currently on a three game road trip.  They will return home on Sept. 16 to host the RailHawks.  Their final match of the regular season will be at home on Sept. 23 against the Minnesota Stars FC.

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