San Antonio Scorpions fans
Courtesy of The Crocketteers

San Antonio Scorpions top Fort Lauderdale Strikers for NASL title

The San Antonio Scorpions claimed their first NASL title in franchise history on Saturday night in Texas, riding a stunning bicycle kick from midfielder Rafael Castillo in the 69th minute to top the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1.

Castillo volleyed home the goal off an assist from former Houston Dynamo Homegrown player Josue Soto to give the Scorpions a 1-0 lead, and then assisted on a goal for Billy Forbes to pad the lead in the 76th minute.

The Strikers rallied behind an equalizer from Walter Ramirez in the 79th minute, but MLS veteran goalkeeper Josh Saunders kept the Strikers at bay down the stretch to lock down the win in front of nearly 8,000 fans at Toyota Field in San Antonio. Saunders is currently on loan with the Scorpions from 2015 MLS expansion franchise New York City FC, and adds a NASL championship to his four MLS Cup titles (San Jose in 2003, LA Galaxy in 2005, 2011-12).

The Scorpions roster is full of players with ties to MLS during their playing careers, including former Vancouver Whitecaps Designated Player Eric Hassli, Toronto FC defender Adrian Cann and New England Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy.