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San Antonio pro soccer team signs players, coaches
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Scorpions FC recently introduced two veteran Major League Soccer (MLS) players -- Kevin Harmse and Greg Janicki -- as the new team’s first signees in preparation of the North American Soccer League (NASL) competition next spring.
“Kevin and Greg were terrific defenders for the Vancouver Whitecaps, and they bring experience and toughness to the Scorpions,” said Head Coach Tim Hankinson. “Very shortly, we’ll be announcing the names of other players for our roster, but it’s great to start with two strong anchors.”
Hankinson also introduced the team’s two new assistant coaches -- Alen Marcina, first assistant coach, and Juan Lamadrid, goalkeeper coach.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do before our first NASL home game on April 15, but I’m delighted to have talented coaches like Alen and Juan helping me establish a rugged, competitive, exciting team,” Hankinson said.
“To the best of our knowledge, this marks the first time in history that a professional sports team has been organized solely for the benefit of a nonprofit cause,” said Michael Hitchcock, Scorpions president. “The Scorpions will compete for a community that’s eager to see soccer played at a high level and for Morgan’s Wonderland, a unique theme park designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind, and built so everyone can have fun together.”
San Antonio philanthropist Gordon Hartman led the effort to create Morgan’s Wonderland in Northeast San Antonio so people of all ages with and without disabilities could come together in a safe, colorful, totally wheelchair-accessible park for fun and understanding. Now wrapping up its second year of operation, Morgan’s Wonderland features more than 25 rides, playscapes, and attractions spread out over 25 acres in what once was a limestone quarry.
Sensing an opportunity to benefit Morgan’s Wonderland for the long run, Hartman secured an NASL franchise -- one rung below MLS -- and immediately launched Soccer for a Cause, a campaign to build community support for the new team. This included a name-the-team contest, a logo-design competition, and an online vote of fans to select the Scorpions’ jersey. Meanwhile, Nike became the first to sign up as a team sponsor.
“Morgan’s Wonderland continues to exceed expectations, profoundly touching the lives of special-needs children and adults, their families and friends,” Hartman said. “Thus far, we’ve welcomed more than 200,000 guests from all 50 states and more than 30 other countries. This level of activity requires substantial financial support in order to attract more guests and provide more services and programs to the special-needs community at no charge.”
For more information about the Scorpions, visit www.SanAntonioScorpions.com. Additional information about Morgan’s Wonderland is available at www.MorgansWonderland.com or by calling 210-495-5888.
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