When the Atlanta Silverbacks opened the season with a dismal 0-3-2 record, the 2006 playoffs seemed entirely out of reach. After turning the season around, thanks to a 7-2-3 home record, the Silverbacks have put themselves in 5th place in the USL First Division with 32 points. This weekend Atlanta will look to continue to strengthen their potential spot in the playoffs with a win over Miami. The two teams will face each other on Friday night at 7:30 pm at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium.
The two teams played each other last weekend when Atlanta beat Miami 2-1. Tomorrow night’s game is an extremely important match for both teams; Atlanta needs the win to remain in 5th place and Miami needs the win to remain in possible playoff contention. Last week’s game proved to be very exciting with three goals and intense play throughout the entire 90 minutes.
The top six teams in the standings at the finish of the regular season qualify for playoffs; if the ‘Backs qualify it will be the team’s first post-season appearance in four years. Atlanta sits in 5th place with 32 points; Seattle sits in 6th place with 31 points; Puerto Rico sits in 7th place with 30 points; Miami sits in 8th place with 29 points; and Virginia Beach sits in 9th place with 29 points. Minnesota (11th place) and Atlanta have played only 22 games, fewer than all other teams in the USL First Division.
Atlanta’s final six regular season games consist of two home games and four away games. The Silverbacks will have to face Miami FC on the road in Florida on Sunday, August 27. The team will return home to host the Rochester Raging Rhinos on Saturday, September 2 for the final home match of the year - fireworks will follow the game. Then the ‘Backs will take a three-game road trip to the west coast to take on Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. With such a tight race for the playoffs, every game will count.
The first 500 fans through the gates at the “Georgia Lottery Game Day” will receive Silverbacks sport bottles. Tickets for Friday night’s game are available, however, after midnight tonight (Thursday night) remaining tickets will only be available through the online “print-at-home” option. Tickets will also be available at the stadium box office starting at 5:00 pm on Friday. Please purchase your tickets early! Upper level parking opens at 5:30 pm and the stadium gates open at 6:00 pm. For more information call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
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