By Kyle R. Cotton
For Scorpion’s star striker Billy Forbes, the dream of being a professional soccer player was finally achieved this year when he joined the San Antonio Scorpions.
Forbes grew up on the island of Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean where he played for his national team before moving to Ft. Lauderdale for soccer and to finish high school.
Forbes said, “I promised myself I wouldn’t go home until I was a professional soccer player.”
The former All-American in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics moved to Texas to study at Lubbock Christian University before getting invited to tryout for the Scorpions.
He was offered a spot on the Scorpions squad, but he elected to finish his degree and was invited to come back in May and was signed on the spot.
Scorpions clenched their spot in the North American Soccer League playoffs by beating the Tampa Bay Rowdies 7-0 Oct. 11 at Toyota Field, with the final goal coming off an assist from Forbes.
Scorpion’s defender Stephen Deroux said, “This was a special night for us and the fans.”
The Scorpions are currently trying to lock up a home game for the playoffs with a 5-point lead over the third place New York Cosmos.
Scorpions failed to do so after losing to the Indy Eleven 1-0 on Oct. 19 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium after surrendering a goal to Charlie Rugg in minute 56.
Deroux said, “We’re going to focus on what we need to do; we take it a game at a time and will prepare for playoffs when the time comes.”
Scorpions’ striker Giuseppe Gentile said, “We definitely want home field, but … we need to go to take care of business first before we can think about the playoffs.”
Gentile recently joined the Scorpions after finishing his season in the playoffs with United Soccer League Professional. “My coaches and teammates have been very supportive every step of the way to make me as comfortable as I can be,” he said.
Scorpion strikers Forbes and Gentile will try to resolve communication issues, which became obstacles in previous games.
Gentile replaced striker Tomaz Zahorski in the starting line-up late this fall season.
Gentile talked about his communication issues with Forbes. “We’re roommates so we talk about it a lot,” he said. “He’s a set-up type of guy so he’s very unselfish and he’ll try to get me opportunities. We’re going to continue to build our relationship and try to find each other and set up goals because essentially it’s a team effort.”
Forbes’ biggest inspiration is his mother who was a former soccer player. She would wake him at night and tell him, “Billy, you have to get up. You have to prepare for the game before the day of the game. You have to think of what you will do and how you’ll go about it the day before the game.”
Forbes said, “My performance comes from putting in the work just like my mother taught me.”
“At all levels, whether it was as a player for my national team, college or a professional here with the Scorpions, the work ethic I have that gives me an advantage late in the game is all thanks to what my mom taught me,” Forbes said.
The Scorpions play Minnesota United at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the National Sports Center Stadium in Minnesota.
The next home game for the Scorpions will be the final game of the season. The team will play the New York Cosmos at Toyota Field Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
Playoffs begin Nov. 9.
For more information on the league, log on to www.nasl.com, and for the Scorpions, go to www.sascorpions.com