The Atlanta Silverbacks opened the 2006 USL First Division regular season with their game against Puerto Rico, and the Silverbacks closed the league’s 2006 regular season tonight with a 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The ‘Backs had a rollercoaster of a season that culminated in a final weekend of play which included four teams’ fight for two playoff spots. In the end, the Silverbacks' playoff destiny was determined by two penalty kicks in the final minutes of play. The first penalty kick came in stoppage time during the Silverbacks’ game against the Seattle Sounders; Seattle converted the kick and took home the 2-1 win. The second penalty kick came tonight during the 82 minute of the Puerto Rico Islanders’ game versus Miami; Puerto Rico converted their kick and took home the 1-1 tie – enough to put them into the final playoff spot.
The Silverbacks battled the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight for both team’s final match of the 2006 regular season (Vancouver had already secured a spot in the 2006 playoffs). Despite taking some serious pressure during the opening ten minutes, the Silverbacks played Vancouver to an close match. The Whitecaps were able to notch the only goal of the game in the 37th minute and the match ended in a 1-0 win to Vancouver.
“I think under the circumstances, having three road-games in four days, we played very well and were unlucky not score. I was very happy with the way we finished the season,” Head Coach Jason Smith.
The Silverbacks, 10-13-5, finished the season in 8th place in the USL First Division rankings. Check back to www.atlantasilverbacks.com on Tuesday, September 12 for a complete 2006 season recap.
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