NASL Week 2: A Look Back

Hankinsonsellout

photo by Robin Jerstad/San Antonio Scorpions

By FRANCO PANIZO

More than 13,000 fans turned up to see the San Antonio Scorpions in their home opener, but that was one of the only positives the first-year team could take away this weekend.

The Scorpions failed to make their first home match a memorable one for their fans, as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Puerto Rico Islanders in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,151 at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday.

Jonathan Fana scored the first of his two goals early in the match, and that set the tone for a lopsided win for the visitors. Forwards Nicholas Addlery and David Foley also found the back of the net for Puerto Rico, which is now 2-0 on the season and in first place in the standings.

San Antonio forward Pablo Campos could have made the game more interesting, but he failed to convert two penalty kick attempts. Campos hit the first one off the crossbar in the first half, and Islanders goalkeeper Richard Martin denied him on the other spot kick in the second half to help drop Tim Hankinson's men to 0-1-1 on the year.

Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 2 action in NASL:

RAILHAWKS TIE SILVERBACKS IN WILD, EIGHT-GOAL AFFAIR

The season's most wild match may have taken place in Cary, N.C. this past Saturday. The Carolina RailHawks and the Atlanta Silverbacks (both 0-0-2 in 2012) played to a wild and entertaining 4-4 draw at WakeMed Soccer Park in a match that ended with three ejections, some late drama and last-minute heroics.

Brian Shriver scored near the death to save the RailHawks from defeat in a match they had led 2-0 at one point. Mike Palacio scored in the second minute of the game for Carolina and Nick Zimmerman doubled the hosts' lead in the latter parts of the first half.

Unfortunately for them, Atlanta responded with three unanswered goals. Reinaldo Navia, Raphael Cox and Willie Hunt each found the back of the net to give the Silverbacks a 3-2 lead. Zimmerman then pulled the RailHawks level when he scored his second of the day in the 74th minute.

Playing down a man after Hunt was given a second yellow card, Atlanta responded six minutes later when Navia scored for the second time. That goal would not stand as the winner, however, as Shriver donned a hero's cape in final seconds of regulation by knocking in a low cross from midfielder Ty Shipalane to send the home crowd of 3,683 into a frenzy.

The chances of seeing a winner in the game were cut short, as the main official ended the match before stoppage time was fulfilled due to an altercation that resulted in red cards for Silverbacks forward Nico Colaluca and RailHawks midfielder Brian Ackley.  

 

STRIKERS, STARS PLAY TO SCORELESS DRAW

In a rematch of last year's NASL Championship series, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were once again held to a scoreless draw at Lockhart Stadium by the reigning champions Minnesota Stars FC on Saturday night. Just as was the case in the second leg of last year's championship, the 0-0-2 Stars frustrated the 1-0-1 Strikers by not allowing them to find the back of the net in front of the 2,916 fans in attendance. Both teams created opportunities, but Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser and Stars netminder Matt Van Oekel came up with saves when called upon.

Here are the match highlights:

 

EDMONTON STAY WINLESS AFTER LOSS TO ROWDIES

Florida has not been a kind place for FC Edmonton to play in at the start of this season. A week after losing to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in its season opener, Edmonton fell to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla on Saturday. Rowdies defender Takuya Yamada gave the 3,129 fans something to cheer about when he beat Edmonton goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz with a shot in the first half following a pass from fellow defender Andres Arango. The result improved Tampa Bay to 1-1-0 on the season, while it dropped FC Edmonton to 0-2.

Here are some of the match highlights:

 

 

NASL Standings

1. Puerto Rico Islanders (2-0, 6 points, +5 GD)

2. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (1-0-1, 4 points, +1 GD)

3. Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-1-0, 3 points, 0 GD)

4. Atlanta Silverbacks (0-0-2, 2 points, 0 GD)

5. Carolina RailHawks (0-0-2, 2 points, 0 GD)

6. Minnesota Stars FC (0-0-2, 2 points, 0 GD)

7. San Antonio Scorpions (0-1-1, 1 point, -4 GD)

8. FC Edmonton (0-2, 0 points, -2 GD)

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What do you think of the Scorpions drawing over 13,000 to their home opener? Expecting them to keep up those type of attendance numbers this season? Think you'll see more goals in a game this season than the eight scored in RailHawks-Silverbacks game?

Share your thoughts below.

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18 Responses to NASL Week 2: A Look Back

  1. pgloerse says:

    Glad to see over 13K in San Antonio.

  2. Duneman says:

    Wow…it will be very interesting to see if they can keep those levels up. That’s not bad at all for a NASL game.

  3. ericJ says:

    I was there. Tons of PRI fans there… TONS of youth players and their parents. Lots of groaning… Campos misses TWO penalties for SA… lol

  4. Zimmerman is a beast! Guys got game!

  5. CSD says:

    That Rowdy bit on the local news was all over the place. At least the male reporter showed some interest.

  6. Fred says:

    Now if only the New England Revolution could get that many fans at their home games…

  7. Air Jordanz says:

    The NASL hopes to add 6 teams over the next 3 years.

    If it can continue to attract growing interest (not expecting MLS levels here, ppl), it could provide a solution to regional underrepresentation in MLS.

    In 20 yrs, NASL and MLS could possibly serve the same role as the AFC and NFC in the NFL.

  8. GCScots says:

    Matty Horth needs to get more burn for the Silverbacks ASAP. He was one of the top scorers in the NASL last year!

  9. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Rowdies game was actually a pretty entertaining match. Edmonton had a couple of tricky forwards who made things interesting. Former Edmonton striker Mulholland is fun to watch and is going critical addition to Rowdies’ roster. the other new Rowdie, Scotsman Stuart Campbell, play well and cleared a sure goal off the goal line with his head to preserve the 1-0.

    I was little disappointed with only 3,100 for opening night.

  10. CSD says:

    How is that stadium to watch a match? It seems a bit of a strange setup from what I have seen. Good to see the Rowdies name back in operation.

  11. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Stadium’s fine. Seats are smidge far from the field for soccer, but the site lines are ok.

    The view—water and boats in the distance along with palm trees makes for nice setting. the volunteers and concession folks are extremely nice and welcoming.

    Quaint setting. Highly recommend. Plus there’s stuff to—bars, restaurants–right near the stadium.

    It’s where you’d want your soccer stadium to be…it just happens to be a baseball stadium.

  12. Gnarls says:

    Gotta love the attendance numbers, but fans like when their team wins. Hopefully they can turn it around and keep the numbers up.

  13. Herb says:

    You need to start covering USL. Orlando had 9000 at their opener. And they have a Rooney (scored twice)!

  14. El-DudeMan says:

    at the very least, NASL should shoot for more then simply being a 2nd division. I’m thinking they should def pursue that psuedo continental-wide league thing they got going (puerto rico, canada, us), with maybe adding more teams in Can and caribbean (Joe Public if T&T league folds…and hey maybe a team in Mexicali, MX). The point here is that these non-US teams going forward would not feel constrained by supposed second div status

  15. El-DudeMan says:

    Orlando & Rochester should be in NASL

  16. Matt C in tampa says:

    i’ve heard some good things about Mouse city. Reports of it playing some nice soccer. I hear they have some creativity and imagination. Hope they keep up that attendance figure.

    good luck.

  17. CJ says:

    Zimmy’s pure class. Mike Palacio is another baller.

  18. brando says:

    I was at the san antonio game. The stadium kinda blows but the atmosphere was incredible. Lots of tifo and chanting. I wouldn’t expect every game to have those numbers. But wouldn’t be surprised at all for 8-9k per game. Hopefully it’ll be enough to keep momentum up for next year when we get the sss open.