The Silverbacks Men christened RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium with a 3-2 win over the Charleston Battery tonight. The Silverbacks entertained the crowd on a beautiful night at Atlanta’s newest stadium. Atlanta Silverbacks Park was packed for the opening of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium and the Silverbacks opened up standing room only tickets to accommodate the 3,217 fans that attended the home opener. The sell-out crowd made a great atmosphere for soccer and head coach Jason Smith said it affected the way he coached, “The crowd was unbelievable, it’s always great to play in front of such a huge crowd full of enthusiastic fans. Even though my players couldn’t hear me coaching over the crowd, it was an amazing welcome to the new stadium and our new home.”
Atlanta and Charleston met tonight for their second game of the year - the team’s tied just last weekend in Charleston, but the ‘Backs wouldn’t settle with a tie tonight at their home opener. Atlanta was finally able to get the ball into the back of the net and the outcome was successful, the Silverbacks combined their defensive dominance with scoring up top and took home their first win on the season, bringing them to 1-3-2.
Rodrigo Rios and Alex Pineda-Chacon played extremely well in the middle, creating chances and controlling the game. The Silverbacks must have felt the energy of the new stadium and the enormous crowd because they got their first goal in the 18th minute. Antonio De La Torre took a corner kick that was then passed back out to him on the wing, he sent the ball in for a second chance and this time, defender Matt Bobo got a head on the ball and put the Silverbacks up 1-0. Atlanta didn’t stop their scoring at just one, in the 35th minute Charleston’s keeper, Wiggans, bobbled the ball and Jason McLaughlin recovered it, McLaughlin found Rios, who found the back of the net on a point-blank shot; Silverbacks up 2-0. But Charleston felt the tug of the rivalry and kept the Silverbacks close and put in a goal of their own in the 39th minute from a corner kick. The half ended with the Silverbacks up 2-1.
The Silverbacks didn’t have quite the same domination in the second half, but they still managed to put one in the net. McLaughlin got his first goal of the season after Pineda-Chacon played the ball back from the end-line to McLaughlin who finished it and brought Atlanta’s lead to 3-1. The Silverbacks seemed to sit back defensively at this point, and after a few miscommunications in the back, let Charleston get another goal. In the 75th minute Armstrong scored an unassisted goal, leaving fans with a close match for the last 15 minutes. The Silverbacks become more offensive again and took home the win with a final score of 3-2.
"The players are very excited to have their first win. It was really nice to play at our own home and be able to bring home a win; hopefully it’s a sign of things to come,” said Smith after the game.
Marketing Director Laura Fedrigo said the night was a success despite some hiccups, "I was very happy with how patient and supportive everyone was, it was painful to have to turn a couple hundred people away, but we hope that everyone in the standing room only crowd enjoyed their evening. We're going to do what we can to continue to raise the bar each and every game so that people are excited to come out all summer long."
The Silverbacks remain at home next weekend and host the Seattle Sounders on Saturday June 10. Order your tickets today by calling 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com. Season tickets are still available for a 20% discount off walk-up tickets.
Click here for the Official USL Game Report.
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