Peterson arrived into San Antonio Thursday night and took in some sights before appearing at the Scorpions training session at Trinity University Friday morning. He spoke at length to the Scorpions squad about some of the future plans for the NASL and also spoke about what the league expects from it’s players and staff.
Peterson, fresh off of visiting fellow NASL club, FC Edmonton, was impressed with the Scorpions on and off the pitch.
“I’ve known Tim Hankinson for a long time,” said Peterson. “When I see what he’s doing with the roster, and how the players are working, I suspect they’re preparing to make a real run at the championship and anything less will probably be a little disappointing for them. They’re fully committed and that’s impressive.”
Peterson also had high praise for the city of San Antonio, and the precedent that it is setting for an NASL city. The Scorpions, who finished first in the NASL regular season standings in their inaugural season, have taken major strides to establish themselves as the premier NASL club after building Toyota Field and having it ready for the 2013 season.
“You look at the other things going on in San Antonio, whether it’s the supporters group, the new stadium opening or the corporate partners coming on board; everything in San Antonio right now seems to be really positive and going in the right direction,” said Peterson. “I think this is a model for our league. Its very impressive and exciting at the same time.”
The Commissioner also spoke highly of Soccer for a Cause, and how the Scorpions are the first and only professional sports organization that has 100% of its net profits benefiting the special needs community. Scorpions owner, Gordon Hartman, specifically set up the organization that way, and continues to look at many avenues to help the community.
“Soccer for a Cause is a wonderful initiative,” Peterson said. “I’ve been aware of Morgan’s Wonderland and Gordon’s efforts long before I was involved with the league. I am inspired by people who are willing to make the world better. That’s ultimately what he’s doing; he’s stepped up and he’s created something for everybody that is very inclusive and visionary. The fact that soccer ties into that is admirable.”
Peterson also believes that Gordon Hartman and Soccer for a Cause are doing the right thing for the community, San Antonio and the NASL.
“You step back sometimes and ask “why couldn’t everyone do this?” he said. “I’m impressed by how he’s doing everything here. The Scorpions have a wonderful owner here that’s smart, does things for the right reason and is a good person. That’s how you build great organizations.”