The Atlanta Silverbacks return home from a three-game road trip to host the second-place Puerto Rico Islanders on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks.
Saturday night’s contest will be the first at home for Silverbacks Interim Head Coach Eric Wynalda, who is coming off his first win as a professional coach. The Silverbacks (2-5-9) shut out Minnesota Stars FC, 2-0, last weekend, earning three points and bringing momentum back to Atlanta for the upcoming two-game homestand.
With the arrival of Wynalda has come a variety of team personnel moves. The club has added Brian Haynes as an assistant coach, and has signed defender Mike Randolph, midfielders Milton Blanco, Paulo Mendes, and Pablo Cruz, and forwards Pedro Mendes and Danny Barrera. All of the players, with the exception of Blanco, spent time under Wynalda at Cal FC, an amateur club that defeated a pair of professional sides on their way to the fourth round of this year’s U.S. Open Cup.
The new-look Silverbacks will look to continue their effort to turn around the season this Saturday as they welcome the Islanders (8-4-4), who topped the San Antonio Scorpions, 1-0, at home on Wednesday. Forward Nicholas Addlery, who tallied both goals in the Islanders 2-1 win on June 23 in Atlanta, posted the game-winner on Wednesday, pulling them even in points with the Scorpions.
Along with Addlery, the Islanders are led in the attack by forwards Jonathan Faña and David Foley. The trio has combined for 15 goals and seven assists this season, making for an explosive offense. The Islanders’ firepower has slowed down in the last four games, though, with only two goals scored in that span. They will go up against a Silverbacks defense that is coming off their first shutout since the season opener.
The Islanders’ back line will be getting their first look at Silverbacks forward Jahbari Willis, who assisted on both of the Silverbacks’ goals in his professional debut last Saturday in Minnesota. Willis, an imposing figure at 6’3”, worked a full 90 minutes and looked dangerous throughout the contest. He will be paired with forward Matt Horth, who has scored three goals in his last four games.
The Silverbacks have dropped each of their two games against the Islanders this season, falling 3-0 in Puerto Rico and most recently 2-1 in Atlanta.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park and tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, call 404-969-4900 or visit atlantasilverbacks.com.