The Atlanta Silverbacks lost 1-0 to the California Victory on the road tonight at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The Victory took the lead in the 39th minute and the ‘Backs were never able to recover. The loss broke the Silverbacks’ four-game USL First Division winning streak.
“I think all the games that we have had over the past two weeks finally caught up with us; we were a step behind all night long. We had a flurry of chances at the end, but we just couldn’t finish them,” commented Head Coach Jason Smith.
The Victory took the lead when Federico Bianchi tallied his second goal of the season – Josh Hansen sent a cross in from the left side to an open Bianchi who finished the game-winning goal. The narrow field and cold weather left the Silverbacks in an unfamiliar element. Atlanta was able to settle into play eventually, but time ran out before the ‘Backs could get the ball in the back of the net.
The two teams last met when the expansion side visited RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium on June 16; the match ended in a scoreless tie with the Silverbacks outshooting their opponents ten to three.
The Silverbacks will play again on Saturday evening at 7:55 pm when they host the Portland Timbers at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. For ticket information call 404-969-4900 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
Atlanta’s starters: Felipe Quintero, Matt Bobo, David Hayes, Martyn Lancaster, Justin Moore, Rodrigo Rios (Dayton O’Brien – 76), Tony McManus (Angel Rivillo – 83), Scott Buete, Rafique Hassim (John Queeley – 83), Daniel Antoniuk, Warren Ukah (Corey Woolfolk – 74).
Cautions: Lancaster – 9; Ukah – 57; Buete – 60; Hayes - 61
California’s starters: Eric Reed, Luis Aguilar, Hugo Casillas, Chris Schwarze, Chuck Kim (Josh Barton – 85), Federico Bianchi, Mike Munoz, Yuri Morales, Luis Mira, Josh Hansen (Dominic Jakubek – 81), Aaron Chandler.
Goals: Bianchi – 39 (Hansen)
Cautions: Kim – 20; Munoz - 22
SILVERBACKS WOMEN PLAY FINAL REGULAR SEASON MATCHES –IN A TIGHT RACE FOR PLAYOFFS
The Atlanta Silverbacks Women, 7-2-1, have just two games remaining in the 2007 W-League regular season. The team’s playoff hopes will be determined in the next four days after the team takes on the Richmond Kickers Destiny tomorrow night (7.18.07) on the road and the Fredericksburg Lady Gunners on Friday night for their last home game this season.
The Silverbacks Women have 22 points on the season and are currently tied for second place of the Atlantic Division. The ‘Backs’ need to win their final two matches in order to clinch one of the playoff spots, which are held for the top two teams in each division. Richmond leads the division with 24 points and an 8-1-0 record, while Charlotte is tied for second place with 22 points and a 7-2-1 record. In effect, the season has boiled down to this weekend as each of the three teams try to solidify a spot in the playoffs. Richmond and Charlotte face off tonight and then the Silverbacks and Richmond play Wednesday to make up for a game that was called to due to inclement weather back in May. Tomorrow’s match will take place at a neutral site in Charlotte, NC; then the ‘Backs will head home to host the Fredericksburg Lady Gunners in their final home match of the regular season at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium on Friday, July 20 at 7:55 p.m.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the top two teams of the Atlantic Division will head to Minnesota for the Central Conference Playoffs on July 27 and July 28. The Minnesota Lightning, who are currently in first place of the Midwest Division with a 9-0-1, clinched one of the two spots in their division with a 1-0 win over the West Michigan Firewomen this past weekend. The conference playoffs, which will be held at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, will see the Atlantic Division’s first place team take on Midwest Division’s second place team and the Midwest Division’s first place team take on the Atlantic Division’s second place team – on Friday, July 27th. The conference championship will then follow on Saturday July 28th. The Central Conference Champions, will then advance to the final four hosted by the Rochester Raging Rhinos on August 4, 2007. For more information, or tickets to the women’s final match, please call 404-969-4919 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
SILVERBACKS U23’S FIGHT FOR FIRST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
The Atlanta Silverbacks U23’s brought home the Willie B. Cup for their second year in a row last weekend after beating the Nashville Metros 1-0 in Tennessee. This Friday night, the U23’s will host the Carolina Dynamo in what will be their most important match of the season. The Silverbacks sit in second place of the PDL’s Southeast Division with 31 points and 15 games played.
In a tight race for playoffs full of hypotheticals, the Silverbacks need to win their final match of the season, this Friday against Carolina, in order to put themselves in the best possible position to finish the season in the top two spots of their division. The Silverbacks, 9-2-4, have encountered an interesting schedule this season – the ‘Backs have played the Cary RailHawks U23’s four times, the Nashville Metros four times, the Carolina Dynamo three times, but have not played the division-leading Central Florida Kraze once during the entire 2007 season. The Silverbacks even faced off against a team from outside their division, the Baton Rouge Capitals, whom they beat 4-1. The Central Florida Kraze had a similar schedule where they played the Cocoa Expos four times, the Bradenton Academics four times, and the Palm Beach Pumas four times.
The Silverbacks will battle it out with the Dynamo one last time this Friday night (7.20.07) in a double-header with the Atlanta Silverbacks Women. The U23’s match begins at 5:15 p.m. at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the game at the stadium box office; for more information call 404-969-4919.
THIS WEEKEND THE SILVERBACKS WILL WELCOME WORLD-FAMOUS TOY LINE
For the Atlanta Silverbacks game against the Portland Timbers and the last regular season game for the Atlanta Silverbacks Women, Tamagotchi Toys will be coming out to both games to add to the weekend’s excitement. Tamagotchi will be bringing out some of their popular characters, giving away their famous toys as part of the halftime contest, and hanging out with fans. For ticket information to see the Silverbacks play and meet the Tamagotchi characters, call 404-969-4900 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
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