One of the things that has made San Antonio such a promising soccer market is the existence of a seemingly thriving supporters group before there's even a team to support. The Crocketteers were founded in 2009 and count nearly 500 among their membership.
The group has promised to support whatever is the highest level of soccer in their city, but have tread carefully in the brewing battle between Gordon Hartman's NASL team and the USL-PRO team that has been promised by the group that owns the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. Both groups have said bringing MLS to San Antonio is their ultimate goal.
With the announcing of the NASL team's name, the San Antonio Scorpions, and the unveiling of plans for a 5,400-seat stadium, it would appear Hartman has taken the lead in winning the Crocketteers' loyalty. Until one of these teams actually plays a game, though, it's understandable that Crocketteers leadership is still choosing their words carefully.
"The goal of the Crocketteers is to bring the highest level of professional soccer to the market and in the United States that’s MLS," Crocketteers VP/Marketing-Media Steve Arters wrote in an email. "Until we can achieve that, we’re putting our full support behind NASL and, if developments warrant, a USL Pro franchise.
"We’ll support the Scorpions FC franchise – many in our group were the first to buy season tickets recently for the 2012 season – and we’re closely monitoring SS&E’s efforts to bring in a USL Pro franchise. As it stands now, all media reports have indicated SS&E – the parent company of the NBA San Antonio Spurs – is very interested in bringing a USL Pro franchise to San Antonio for 2012, but does not have a venue yet in which to play and is working on that major piece to the puzzle.
"We’ll continue to monitor the situation daily and help any way we can, but until SS&E announces there’s a venue for its USL team to play in to they are moving forward, we have to stand by. We have the greatest respect and admiration for SS&E. At the same time, we have great respect and admiration for Gordon Hartman and his ownership group as well and they’ve said on several occasions they’re moving forward, regardless of what SS&E plans to do."