Fresh off of a playoff-clinching 4-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the San Antonio Scorpions take on another Florida-based side, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the last match at Lockhart, a 2-2 draw, Strikers’ forward Andy Herron scored what looked to be the winner in the 90th minute, but Pablo Campos stole a point for the visitors with an equalizer in stoppage-time.
Saturday’s hosts are coming off of a scoreless draw with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the newly refurbished Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium. The tie was an encouraging result for the Strikers who have been poor on the road and leaking goals all season. Defensive midfielder Conor Shanosky put in a solid shift shutting out the Islanders to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors and help the Strikers to a second shutout in two games.
San Antonio will be in great spirits heading into the match. The side is at the top of the standings, and became the first side to clinch a spot in the playoffs with a 4-0 victory against Tampa on Sunday night. Walter Ramirez opened the scoring inside of eight minutes, Esteban Bayona grabbed one, and the free-scoring Pablo Campos bagged a brace, increasing his league-lead in goals to 18 on the season.
Fort Lauderdale will once again be without forward Andy Herron, who sits out the second match of his two-game suspension, as well as dynamic playmaker Walter Restrepo, who was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury. Conversely, the Scorpions have bolstered their squad with new signings Ruben Luna, on loan from FC Dallas, and Zachary Garcia out of Trinity University, and will welcome Blake Wagner bake from suspension.
In the short history between the teams, there is no love lost on the pitch. In just three meetings, referees have shown 21 yellow cards, eight red cards, and dismissed Strikers Head Coach Daryl Shore. The last match between the sides finished 1-0 in favor of the Scorpions, the previous two meetings both ended in 2-2 ties, with San Antonio bagging stoppage-time equalizers on both occasions. Although the Scorpions have already clinched a playoff berth, the side won’t want to take their foot off the pedal just yet.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. San Antonio Scorpions
Saturday, August 25, 2012— 7:30 P.M. EDT
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: San Antonio, 1-2-0, 5 points
Fort Lauderdale San Antonio
Head Coach Daryl Shore Tim Hankinson
2012 Records 4th: 8-7-8, 31 points 1st: 12-6-4, 42 points
Last Five Games L W L W T W L T W W
Goals Leader Mark Anderson (11) Pablo Campos (18)
Assists Leader Walter Restrepo (8) Esteban Bayona (5)
Walter Ramirez (5)
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