ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Silverbacks will play the second game of a four-game road trip when they take on the Rochester Rhinos this Saturday, August 23rd at PAETEC Park in New York.
The Silverbacks (8-7-8) sit in fifth place and will hope to bounce back after a tough 1-3 loss to the Montreal Impact this past Wednesday. Rochester (8-8-8) is currently in sixth place after suffering a one point penalty for using a suspended player in a match, but the team has momentum coming off a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Thunder last week.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder Scott Buete will attempt to match the team’s offensive output against Rochester in the clubs’ previous meeting. Photo by Ellen McRaney).
In the previous match between the teams, Atlanta defeated Rochester in a wild 4-3 thriller, the highest amount of goals scored in any USL-1 match this year. The Rhinos were able to answer three of Atlanta’s goals within five minutes each, making for an exhilarating game. Yet, Atlanta was able to top the Rhinos and will hope for a similar result this weekend.
Rochester can vault into fourth place with a win, but the Portland Timbers and Impact are nipping at their heels, just three points back, each vying for the coveted seventh and final playoff spot.
Rhino goalkeeper Scott Vallow has been rock solid in goal this year, playing all 24 games for the team. He currently holds a 1.166 GAA and is second amongst keepers with eight wins.
The offense is balanced, with four players with four or more goals (Matthew Delicâte, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Johnny Menyongar, Mauricio Salles), and the team is right behind the Silverbacks with 29 goals scored, third best in the league.
The ‘Backs will look to get their own offense back on track after uncharacteristically scoring just three goals in the last four games. With 34 goals scored on the year, Atlanta has the second best offense in the league. Atlanta will still be without top scorer Macoumba Kandji, who is nursing a high ankle sprain suffered last week at home against the Charleston Battery. Kandji netted two goals in the Silverbacks’ win over Rochester earlier in the year.
However, the struggle for Atlanta has been largely defensive; the unit has allowed 39 goals on the year and is still looking for a solution. Enter Brent Sancho, a former Trinidad & Tobago national team defender, who made his Silverback debut this past Wednesday against the Impact, just hours after receiving USSF clearance, playing the final 12 minutes of the match. The 6’2, 200 lb defender will hope to make his presence felt and seal up the defense.
Sancho has played in the USL-1 in the past, competing for both Portland and Charleston from 2000-2002.
Atlanta will then make a trip back to Montreal for a rematch with the Impact on Sunday for back-to-back games. The Silverbacks will continue the road trip with a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, August 27th, then return home on Saturday, August 30th for the regular season home finale against the Rochester Rhinos.
For tickets or more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.