"Last season, there was no Scorpions player that brought more fight and determination to the game than Esteban,” said Head Coach Tim Hankinson. “I believe Esteban – our second-leading scorer last year – will be very productive in his second season in the NASL.”
The 6-foot, 29-year-old forward from Bogota, Colombia, played his college soccer at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio between 2006 and 2008. He was named the university’s offensive player of the year in 2006.
In 2009, Bayona joined the Premier Development League (PDL) Laredo Heat and played there three seasons. He earned All-Southern Conference Team honors, and at the end of the 2010 season, he was named the Heat’s offensive player of the year. In 2011, he was one of the PDL’s top three scorers, and last spring, he signed his first professional contract with the Scorpions.
Bayona and his teammates, NASL 2012 regular-season champs, will open the 2013 season on the road April 6 versus the Minnesota Stars FC and play their first home game April 13 against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at new, 8,000-seat Toyota Field on Thousand Oaks Drive near the intersection with Wurzbach Parkway, just west of IH 35 in Northeast San Antonio.
Scorpions season tickets are now on sale, said team President Howard Cornfield. The franchise is unique in that all net profits go to help expand programs and services for the special-needs community through non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first and only ultra-accessible theme park.
Sensing an opportunity to benefit Morgan’s Wonderland for the long run, San Antonio philanthropist Gordon Hartman three years ago secured an NASL franchise – one rung below Major League Soccer – and launched Soccer for a Cause, a successful campaign to build community support for pro soccer. The Scorpions played their first NASL match April 15, 2012.