Will the Renewed SA Scorpions Finish the Job This Time?
Published: April 3, 2013
We can’t suddenly go from a sound business strategy to open up the account and pay whatever a player wants. We made him the very best offer we could but he had a tremendous offer from Minnesota and took it.”
So I asked the Crocketteers: How would you treat Campos when he comes back to SA on June 1?
“While we appreciated his skill and goal-scoring ability for the Scorpions in 2012, and still consider him a friend off the field, he is now part of the enemy,” said Rich Moore, the Crocketteers’ vice president, via email. “We simply cannot extend our loyalties to former Scorpions players who move to other NASL teams. He will receive the same treatment as any other visiting (enemy) player who dares to walk into our house. With his experience, Pablo will understand it’s nothing personal; he’s simply wearing the wrong jersey. Sorry, Pablo.”
The Scorpions’ season starts Saturday. Their first home game is against Tampa Bay, 7:30pm Sat April 13 at Toyota Field. Tickets and info at sascorpions.com or (210) 495-8686.
One key player that the Scorpions managed to retain, South African-Canadian Harmse is a solid, versatile player who can play defense and midfield. Besides leading the North American Soccer League’s best defense in 2012, he had one goal and two assists.
Former Mexican international Saavedra, 40, couldn’t quite keep up with the fast pace of the NASL, but he’s a good option on the bench and a key addition to the Scorpions’ coaching staff: he’s in charge of the reserve team and there’s a good chance he’ll retire after this season to concentrate on coaching.
For the new season, the Scorpions will play at the 8,500-seat state-of-the-art Toyota Field, specifically built for the team. Unlike last year’s home, Heroes Stadium, the pitch has natural grass and zero football lines — as it should be. “The era of using football stadiums for soccer is coming to an end,” said Coach Hankinson. “Natural grass is a game-changer,” said Javier Saavedra. “Artificial grass is harder and faster and the ball bounces in weird ways. And when it gets too hot, you have your feet on fire.”
Besides having the NASL’s best team of the regular season, San Antonio can brag about having the best second-division fans, period. The Crocketteers are the largest of four supporter groups that include the Bexar County Casuals, The Alamo City Ultras, and Dragoons 78. They helped the Scorpions attract 7,000 fans on a bad day, and over 13,000 on a good day, with an average of 9,000 fans per home game (the league’s best). “During the off season, we put in a lot of thought and time towards improving every aspect of our ‘game-day experience,’” said Rich Moore, the Crocketteers vice-president. “That includes our tailgate, our chants and songs, the drums, flags, banners, etc... If everything gets finalized, the fans will see and hear the Crocketteers 2.0 in Section 113.”
> Email Enrique Lopetegui