The Atlanta Silverbacks Men beat the Virginia Beach Mariners 1-0 tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium, the team’s new home where they have yet to lose a game. Team captain Rodrigo Rios scored the game’s only goal.
"We came out and played excellent in the first half. When they pushed numbers forward in the second half we had a few scary moments, but we held on for the win. I'm very pleased with where we are as team at this point in the season," commented head coach Jason Smith.
The Silverbacks took control right away and began creating chances as early as the second minute when Antonio De La Torre hit a shot on target that led to a corner kick for the home team. The Silverbacks took the lead in the 15th minute when Rios put the ball in the net. Atlanta built the play from the midfield and wove the ball in and out of the Mariners’ players – Josh Smith received the ball just wide of the goal, causing the Mariners’ defense to shift and leave Rios wide open on the edge of the six-yard box. Smith found Rios who proceeded to toy with fans, and the Mariners’ goalkeeper, when he held onto the ball for what seemed like hours while deciding where to place the ball. The stadium erupted when Rios finally gave the Silverbacks the 1-0 lead. The Silverbacks continued to dominate and kept the ball in the Mariners’ defensive third of the field. The half ended 1-0 to the Silverbacks.
The second half was pretty evenly matched with great chances for both sides. Virginia Beach had their best chance in the 66th minute when a header hit the cross bar and bounced out; this was as close as the Mariners would come to a goal. The game became more and more physical as time wound down, but the Silverbacks held onto their lead. Atlanta remains undefeated at home and tonight’s 2-0 win improves the Silverbacks’ record to 6-4-3.
The Silverbacks begin their 2006 Open Cup campaign this Wednesday night against the USL Second Division side the Wilmington Hammerheads in Wilmington, VA.
The Silverbacks will return home to play the Portland Timbers next Saturday at 7:30 pm at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The first 500 fans will receive a 2006 Rodrigo Rios bobblehead. All fans will be treated to a fireworks show following the match – the fireworks show, originally scheduled for July 4th, was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Anyone who brings their ticket stub from the Silverbacks’ July 4th match will receive a 50% discount on a ticket to the July 15th match in a ticket-for-ticket promotion. To get this discount, fans can bring their tickets to the Silverbacks’ office or box office to purchase the new ticket to the July 15th game. For more information, call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
Atlanta’s starters: Felipe Quintero, Antonio De La Torre (Matt O’Toole – 72), Omar Jarun (Adilson DeLima – 80), Matt Bobo, David Hayes, Josh Smith (Machel Millwood - 56), Tony McManus, Rodrigo Rios, Scott Buete, Liam George (Alex Pineda-Chacon - 78), Jason McLaughlin (Marlon Rojas – 87).
Cautions: Buete - 57
Goals: Rios (Smith) - 15
Virginia Beach’s starters: Chase Harrison, Tim O’Neill, Craig Demmin, Alan Woods, Russell Hutchison (Kupono Low – 56), Steve Shak, Jeff Bilyk, Leepaul Scroggins (Andrew Herman - 45), Ryan Mack (Christopher Schwarze – 79), John Barry Nusum (Gregory Simmonds – 64), Jakob Fenger (Brian Cvilikas - 56).
Cautions: Woods - 28, Bilyk - 89
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