ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Silverbacks will return to action this Saturday, September 13th against the Seattle Sounders at the Starfire Complex in Washington.
Seattle (10-9-9) has been arguably the toughest opponent for Atlanta (8-11-8) over the past few years. Including a 0-4 loss in last year’s championship game, Atlanta has been winless against the Sounders in the clubs’ previous five meetings. Seattle has outscored the Silverbacks by a margin of 11-1 during the span, including four straight shutouts.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta defender Brent Sancho will look to stop Seattle’s potent attack. Photo by Ron Holt).
Atlanta’s last win against Seattle came on June 10th of 2006 in a 3-1 result. The Sounders defeated the Silverbacks earlier in the year by a score of 2-0. Leighton O’Brien and Sebastien Le Toux both tallied for Seattle in the match.
Le Toux is second in the league with 28 point registered in 28 games. He leads a Seattle attack that has scored eight goals in the team’s last three games, and is currently just three points ahead of the Silverbacks’ top striker Macoumba Kandji. Despite missing Atlanta’s last five games and playing many fewer games than the other top 10 players in the league, Kandji still sits in third place for total points.
"I'm very excited to be playing again after being out for the past three weeks," said Kandji, referring to his high ankle sprain that has plagued him for the past five games. "My feet are aching to play right now. I am just happy to be back with the squad."
The Silverbacks will also look to new acquisitions Duke Hashimoto and Sean Cameron, who made their Atlanta debuts in the team’s final regular season home match. Hashimoto comes to Atlanta after competing for Real Salt Lake of MLS, while Cameron was dealt to the ‘Backs from Miami FC Blues several weeks ago.
Defensively, the Sounders have been very strong under the leadership of goalkeeper Chris Eylander. One of the league’s top young talents, Eylander has recorded a 1.074 GAA on the year, with 10 shutouts, ranking him fifth and second in the USL-1, respectively. He has also tallied 112 saves, which is best in the league.
Atlanta is still looking for a solution in the defensive unit, as the team has given up the most goals in the league (47). The two week break for Atlanta has allowed some key players to get healthy and they should return to action for the Silverbacks.
The Sounders are in the midst of a seven game homestand to close out the year. Meanwhile, the Silverbacks are finishing the year with three consecutive road games, including seven of the last eight on the road.
The game will have major playoff implications; though the Silverbacks have lost five consecutive games, the team is just one point away from seventh place in the standings and the final playoff spot. Seattle currently sits comfortably in fifth place and will look for a repeat of last year’s success in the playoffs.
Atlanta will return to action on Friday, September 19th against the league-leading Puerto Rico Islanders.
For more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.