No Sting In This Scorpion…San Antonio Falls Flat To Puerto Rico
Many wise men have said during trying times, “It’ll get worse before it gets better.”
Let’s hope for the San Antonio Scorpions the ‘worst’ is over after Sunday night’s performance in their inaugural home opener against FC Puerto Rico.
San Antonio FC played ninety-minutes of uninspired ball in front of a standing room only crowd, dropping their long anticipated home opener, 0-4.
13,151 fans packed Heroes Stadium, far exceeding team president Michael Hitchcock’s expectation of 10,000. The game itself was pushed back thirty-minutes by team officials to accommodate fans held up in traffic outside the stadium.
With pre-game tailgating parties throughout the S.T.A.R. complex, and the supporters march into the stadium led by the Crocketteers (San Antonio’s Premiere Soccer Supporters Group), all systems were a go leading up to kick-off.
Seven minutes into the game however, the Islanders shut down any remnants of a victory celebration with a wonderful counter-attacking goal that placed the Scorpions on their heels for the remainder of the match.
Hopes of a comeback were dashed after San Antonio striker Pablo Campos hit the cross-bar off a penalty kick. The penalty would have tied the game and surely brought the once rowdy crowd back into the fold. Instead, it seemed to deflate the team and the restless crowd into a deeper frustration. (Campos also missed a second PK late in the second half with his squad down 0-3)
San Antonio’s defensive side was unable to answer for Puerto Rico’s speedy forwards. Defenders looked unorganized and were scrambling in retreat through a majority of the game. The Islander’s ‘off the ball vertical runs’ produced four lightning-quick counter-attacking goals that shocked the hopeful Scorpions and their fans.
Offensively, San Antonio only challenged the visitors sporadically. The Ledger estimated well over ten midfield turnovers that resulted in an onslaught of Islander attacks. Several Scorpion possessions turned into mind-boggling misplaced passes as the communication lines between strikers Hans Dennisen & Pablo Campos, and midfielders Kevin Harmse & Walter Ramirez seemed to be cut early on.
Goalkeeper Pat Hannigan was left stranded on an island, literally, as each goal allowed ended in a nightmarish scenario. Puerto Rico had total access to San Antonio’s penalty area for each scoring opportunity.
The home opener proved once again that soccer can certainly be beautiful and tragic at the same time.
Beautiful in the fact that the Alamo City came alive late Sunday afternoon to support their Scorpions.
Tragic in the fact that the expansion San Antonio Scorpion squad failed to capitalize in such a historic game.