The Atlanta Silverbacks added two more players to their roster for the 2012 season, signing midfielder TONY MCMANUS and defender TYLER RUTHVEN, pending USSF approval, the club announced Monday.
McManus, 31, returns to Atlanta for his second stint with the Silverbacks after spending four seasons with the club from 2005-2008. The defensive midfielder is third on the all-time list of most regular season games played for the Silverbacks, behind only David Hayes and current Director of Soccer Rodrigo Rios.
“I’ve known Tony for a long time, and I’m very excited about his return to Atlanta,” Rios said. “He’s going to be a major contributor to our team, both on and off the field.”
McManus began his career playing four years of soccer at University of Alabama-Birmingham. In 2004, the Memphis, Tenn., native was drafted by Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire but spent most of the season on loan at the Virginia Beach Mariners of the USL, appearing in 24 games there.
In 2005, McManus signed with the Silverbacks, then playing in the USL. For four seasons, he played mostly in a defensive midfield role for Atlanta; in that time, he scored seven goals and only missed a total of eight league games. In 2005, the Silverbacks briefly loaned him to MLS side FC Dallas, though he did not see first-team action with the club.
After his time with the Silverbacks, McManus played with three other U.S. second-divison clubs: the Portland Timbers (2009-2010), FC Tampa Bay (2011), and the Carolina RailHawks (2011). He scored his only goal of the season in Atlanta last year, playing against the Silverbacks in a RailHawks uniform.
The Silverbacks also announced Ruthven’s return on Monday. The Alpharetta native appeared in 27 of the team’s 28 games last year, tallying one goal and two assists on the season and once earning NASL Defensive Player of the Week honors.
“Tyler proved last season that he’s a strong defender,” Rios said of Ruthven, who is currently training with MLS side New York Red Bulls. “And we’re confident we’re going to see him get even better this year.”
Ruthven and McManus will both join the team when training camp begins in late February.