The Atlanta Silverbacks fell 2-1 to Miami FC tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The two teams met each other for the second time this week – last Saturday Atlanta handed Miami a 2-1 loss. Miami and Atlanta now each have 32 points and both teams will continue fighting for spot in the 2006 playoffs.
Head Coach Jason Smith commented on tonight’s loss, "It's one of those tales of two halves, we didn't play well in the first and had to try to battle back in the second half. We're going to have to be more aggressive when we go down to Miami and take care of business."
The Silverbacks stepped onto the field with the same starting roster from last weekend. Miami FC made one change in their starting line-up: John Pulido started instead of Allen Handy. Handy had to sit out for the entire game due to a red card he received in last week’s game.
The first half was pretty uneventful for the first 20 minutes with few chances for either side. Miami capitalized on a corner kick in the 22nd minute – the ball bounced around in the box and Zinho managed to get it to his fellow Brazilian, Romario, who slotted the ball from the far post into the net. The Silverbacks were unable to get on the board in the first half and the teams headed to the locker room with Miami leading 1-0.
Atlanta made three changes at the start of the second half – scoring duo Machel Millwood and Warren Ukah came in up front for the ‘Backs and Antonio De La Torre came in to the defensive line. Miami dominated the start of the second half and their technical game up front caused the Silverbacks some problems. Miami doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Diego Walsh dribbled into the 18-yard-box and ripped a shot to the far post past a diving Felipe Quintero. Miami’s lead was cut in half in the 78th minute - the Silverbacks got the ball inside and a defensive miscue by Miami led to JP Rodrigues heading the ball into his own net. The Silverbacks attempted to even the score in the remaining 12 minutes, Fabian Dawkins and Ukah also had some excellent chances, but the 'Backs best chance came from Millwood. During stoppage time, Millwood broke through the Miami defense inside the penalty area and appeared to be fouled as he crashed to the ground on his way to goal. The referee waived played on despite the home crowd's loud appeal for a penalty kick and the game finished 2-1 to Miami.
The Silverbacks will play their final home game next Saturday, September 2 at 7:30 pm against the Rochester Raging Rhinos. The first 500 fans to enter the gate will receive 2006 Silverbacks Team Cards and all fans will get to enjoy a fireworks show following the game. In a show of appreciation to fans, the Silverbacks will treat the crowd to a fireworks show following the match. Please purchase your tickets early. For ticket information call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
Atlanta’s starters: Felipe Quintero, Matt Bobo, David Hayes, Joe Afful, Omar Jarun (Antonio De La Torre – 45), Tony McManus, Rodrigo Rios (Fabian Dawkins – 81), Josh Smith (Liam George – 73), Scott Buete, Jason McLaughlin (Warren Ukah – 45), Alex Pineda-Chacon (Machel Millwood – 45).
Cautions: Jarun - 23
Goals: Rodrigues – 78 (Own Goal)
Miami’s starters: Eric Kronberg, Stephane Guillaume, JP Rodrigues, Jamil Jean-Jaques (Walter Ramirez – 85), Francisco Gomez, John Pulido (John Ramos – 83), Diego Walsh, Jeff Matteo, Crizam Oliveira (Fabian Sandoval – 88), Mario Rodriguez (Oscar Gil – 31), Romario Farias.
Cautions: Gomez - 44
Goals: Romario – 21 (Zinho); Walsh - 65
© Atlanta Silverbacks 2006 – All Rights Reserved.