The Atlanta Silverbacks suffered their first road loss of the 2013 season on Sunday afternoon, falling to FC Edmonton, 3-0, at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes named a similar lineup to the ones that have been producing plenty of goals early in the season. Forward Jahbari Willis started in place of forward Ruben Luna, while goalkeeper Joe Nasco returned to the starting lineup after sitting out last game.
The Silverbacks (2-1-2) dominated possession early on, and created numerous scoring opportunities. Forwards Pedro Mendes and Jahbari Willis each missed glorious chances from close range, with midfielder Danny Barrera also testing FC Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker in the opening minutes.
The promising start for the Silverbacks quickly took a turn for the worse, with goalkeeper Joe Nasco being shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside the penalty area in the 22nd minute. While FC Edmonton didn’t manage to put away the ensuing a free kick, the goals would eventually come.
Forward Daryl Fordyce gave the home team a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute, firing a glancing header past substitute goalkeeper Eric Ati. Just five minutes later, it was 2-0 thanks to FC Edmonton forward Michael Cox. The Canadian took advantage of a Silverbacks mistake to slot past a helpless Ati.
Down 2-0 at halftime, the Silverbacks struggled to get back into the game. FC Edmonton (2-2-2) began to control possession, making the Silverbacks look like a side that was down a man. The home side picked up right where they left off in the second half, with Cox scoring his second goal of the game in spectacular fashion.
In the 49th minute, Cox chested the ball down to himself and fired a looping bicycle kick over the outstretched arms of Ati to make it 3-0. It was a fitting cap on a comprehensive performance by a FC Edmonton team that has been shooting up the NASL standings in recent weeks.
The Silverbacks had a quality chance to grab a consolation goal in the 77th minute, but FC Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker made an impressive, close-range save on an effort from Pedro Mendes. The Brazilian forward tried to loop the ball over Parker from six yards out, but the goalkeeper palmed the ball wide.
The Silverbacks will return home for a two-game homestand this week, with the next game set for Saturday, May 18 against the Carolina RailHawks at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. The game will be played as part of a Silverbacks doubleheader, with the Atlanta Silverbacks Women kicking off their 2013 home season at 4:30 p.m. against the Charlotte Lady Eagles. Tickets can be purchased by calling 404-969-4900 or visiting atlantasilverbacksfc.com.