(Atlanta-June 10) The Atlanta Silverbacks Men beat the reigning USL First Division champs, the Seattle Sounders 3-1, Saturday evening at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The Silverbacks won their second game in a row and remain undefeated in their new home stadium in front of 2,743 fans.
“We’ve been playing well all season we just haven’t been able to convert our chances. Perhaps being at home as something to do with it, but we’re able to find the back of the net. I also feel that with all the new faces this year we’re getting more and more comfortable every game and we look that much sharper with each match,” commented Head Coach Jason Smith.
Forward Jason McLaughlin, a USL rookie, helped the Silverbacks overcome Seattle by scoring two goals for Atlanta and assisting the third goal. McLaughlin and the Silverbacks’ front line battled all night long with the Sounders’ goalie, Chris Eylander: the Silverbacks had 23 shots and Eylander had six saves. McLaughlin went to work on the Sounders right away with an amazing chance on goal in the second minute. Seven minutes later McLaughlin finished his first goal of the night when he beat a Seattle defender and ripped a shot from the 18. The Sounders had a close call in the first half, when Silverbacks defender Omar Jarun had to dive to clear the ball off the Silverbacks’ goal line. Atlanta headed to the locker room with a 1-0 lead over Seattle.
The Silverbacks added to their lead in the 61st minute on a goal by McLaughlin. On the attack, David Hayes crossed the ball from the left flank, the ball slipped through the front line and Scott Buete collected the ball on the right side. Buete sent the ball across to McLaughlin who finished his second goal of the evening, beating Eylander.
Seattle got on the board in the 71st minute with a goal from the USL First Division’s second leading scorer – Cam Weaver. Seattle’s goal sparked a flurry of activity in front of the Silverbacks’ goal in the waning minutes of the game. However, the Silverbacks iced the game when Warren Ukah headed a ball into the back of the net on a cross from McLaughlin. The game ended with the hometown team winning 3-1.
McLaughlin walked away from the game with two goals and one assist adding another five points to his team-leading points for a total of eight. He commented on his break-out performances from last weekend (one goal, one assist) and this weekend (two goals, one assist),
“I feel like the guys on the team have more confidence in me. Coming in as a rookie, I had to prove myself to the team. Now their confidence in me has helped me gain confidence in myself and play to a higher level.”
The Silverbacks travel to Montreal on Wednesday to play the Montreal Impact and then the return to Atlanta to continue their home stand next Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 pm against the third-place Vancouver Whitecaps.
Seattle 0 1 – 1
Atlanta 1 2 – 3
Atlanta Starters: Felipe Quintero; Matt Bobo; David Hayes (Matt O’Toole – 85); Omar Jarun (Joe Afful – 70); Tony McManus; Rodrigo Rios (Marlon Rojas – 90); Scott Buete; Josh Smith (Warren Ukah – 73); Jason McLaughlin; Alex Pineda-Chacon (Millwood – 45); Antonio De La Torre.
Goals: McLaughlin (9); McLaughlin (61); Ukah (88)
Cards: De La Torre (72)
Seattle Starters: Chris Eylander; Nate Boyden; Noah Merl; Zach Scott; Gabe Sturm; Roger Levesque; Kevin Sakuda; C.J. Klaas; Andrew Gregor; Jamal Sutton; Cam Weaver.
Goals: Weaver (71)
(c) Atlanta Silverbacks 2006 - All Rights Reserved.