Toyota Field – The San Antonio Scorpions had a bad taste in their mouths after a 0-4 loss to open the Fall Season. However, it may have been just what they needed as they answered back a week later with a victory over the league’s best team.
Omar Cummings scored two goals as the Scorpions defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-0 in front of 7,636 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
The Scorpions started the scoring early when Marvin Chávez buried his first goal of the season. Cummings sent a pass to Chavez, who shot it into the net past diving Tampa Bay goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 11th minute to put San Antonio up 1-0.
Celebration soon turned into concern as Toyota Field got so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Defender Julius James went down with a serious leg injury after trying to make a stop on a Rowdies scoring attempt. Doctors and team trainers came onto the field to look at James. The 31-year-old left the field on a stretcher and fans gave him a standing ovation as James shot the crowd a thumbs up.
“You never want to see something like that,” Scorpions head coach Alen Marcina said after the game. “Julius [James] is out for the year, it was a break in two bones. For any team, those are sour moments. You don’t want to see anyone go through that and we dedicate this game to Julius.”
In the second half, Cummings would add to the lead for the red and black. In the 54′ San Antonio’s Billy Forbes found Cummings in the box, who buried a one-timer past Pickens to give the Scorpions the 2-0 lead. Cummings also assisted on Chavez’s goal in the first half.
Eight minutes later, Cummings would get loose on a break away attempt. He easily put the shot past Pickens to give the Scorpions a three-goal lead, their biggest margin of victory since 2014. Oddly enough that was a 7-0 win against Tampa Bay.
“I think what happened in Edmonton was unfortunate for us,” Cummings said. “We had to focus and we want teams to know, no matter who we play that we’re going to give them our all.”
Scorpions goalkeeper Matt Cardone came up big in net, making five saves for his second straight shutout. Tampa Bay forward Maicon Santos sent a shot towards net, but Cardone knocked away the scoring attempt. The Rowdies next best chance came in the 81′ when Zak Boggs was left open in the box, but his attempt went over the bar.
“I was just here to help us get three points,” Cardone said. “We had a few guys out with red cards some guys had to step up. We did and were able to get three points.”
The Scorpions are now 1-0-1 (3 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday night when they welcome the FC Edmonton Eddies to Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m.