The Atlanta Silverbacks keep busy in a variety of ways during the off-season. While some people may think of it as down time, the Silverbacks are actively getting ready for the 2006 season. The front office just finished moving into new accommodations that will better fit the growing organization. Construction at Atlanta Silverbacks Park has moved into phase II, which will allow both the Silverbacks Men and Women to play all 2006 home games at the Park. The players and coaches are taking time to review and revisit the past season while looking forward to building an even more competitive team for 2006.
The players are maximizing their time before next season in many different ways. Atlanta’s leading scorer and the United Soccer Leagues First Division’s second highest leading scorer, Fabian Dawkins, is on loan to Village United in his home country of Jamaica. Before Dawkins’ return, Village United was winless and goalless after three games. Upon his arrival, the Atlanta Silverback scored eight goals in six games to help the Jamaican club leap up the table.
The Major League Soccer (MLS) team, FC Dallas, has two 2005 Silverback team members training with their squad. Defender Tony McManus headed to Dallas after the Silverbacks’ season to train with the team, while Alex Yi rejoined FC Dallas after completing his loan spell with the Silverbacks. Yi and FC Dallas then took on the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup Playoffs where Yi faced a former teammate from his time with the Silverbacks, Amir Lowery. Like Dallas and Yi, Colorado had loaned Lowery to play for the Silverbacks during the 2005 season.
At least two Atlanta Silverbacks players will likely see action in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) this winter. The Silverbacks have been in contact with teams in Chicago, California, and Baltimore regarding Adilson De Lima’s and Machel Millwood’s winter plans.
Not all the Silverbacks’ squad have left the Atlanta area however, Antonio de la Torre, Rodrigo Rios, and Alex Pineda-Chacon are playing in Atlanta’s largest amateur league, Liga Lawrenceville. David Hayes, Greg Chevalier and Ron Plute have been training with the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves. De la Torre, Rios, and Hayes are also taking their playing experience to the sidelines and coaching youth teams in leagues around Atlanta.
The Silverbacks and Coach Smith have a long way to go before finalizing the 2006 roster. To date, the only squad adjustments include four players who will not be returning next season: Gary Brooks, Christian Fegler, Landy Mattison, and Andres Murriagui.
For more information about the Atlanta Silverbacks or tryouts, visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com