The Atlanta Silverbacks tied the league-leading Portland Timbers 0-0 at PGE Park on Thursday night (7.26.07). The tie brings Atlanta to 7-7-5, while Portland goes to 11-3-4 and cushions their first place lead. Atlanta now sits tied in points for sixth place with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
“Portland is a tough place to play with a very rough surface; we have to be happy if we can walk away from there with a point,” commented Head Coach Jason Smith.
After falling to the Timbers 1-0 last Saturday at home, Atlanta was able to earn a point on the road in perhaps the toughest place to play in the USL – Portland is 7-0-4 at home, while every other team has at least two losses at their home field.
Atlanta goalie Ryan McIntosh had a great game, making eight saves and recording his fourth shutout of the year in just seven games played.
The Atlanta offense has struggled recently without a goal in the last three games after an outpouring of 11 goals in a four-match stretch where the 'Backs went 4-0-0. Portland's stingy defense has only allowed 11 goals in the entire season so far, making life difficult for the Atlanta offense. Timber goalie Josh Wicks also sports a league-leading 0.545 GAA, just ahead of McIntosh (0.571).
While scoreless, the game certainly was not without action – there were 25 total shots, 35 fouls, and five yellow cards issued.
Atlanta will continue regular season play when they take on rivals Charleston Battery next Saturday, August 4th at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The Silverbacks lost their first two games of the season against the Battery before defeating them at home in the third match.
Atlanta's starters: Ryan McIntosh, David Hayes (Scott Buete – 88), Matt Bobo, Alvin Hudson, Martyn Lancaster, Angel Rivillo (Rodrigo Rios – 71), Tony McManus, Luis Liendo (Dayton O'Brien – 73), Rafique Hassim (Justin Moore – 62), Daniel Antoniuk, Anthony Wolfe (Warren Ukah – 80).
Cautions: Hayes – 27; Wolfe – 45; McManus - 58
Portland's starters: Josh Wicks, Justin Thompson, Cameron Knowles, Shaun Higgins, Tom Poltl, Luke Kreamelmeyer, Leonard Griffin (Luc Harrington – 87), Andrew Gregor, Scot Thompson, Matt Taylor, Chris Bagley (David Hague – 78).
Cautions: Gregor – 40; Wicks – 90
CRUZ AZUL HAS FIRST TRAINING SESSION AT RE/MAX GREATER ATLANTA STADIUM
In preparation for Saturday night’s sold out Copa Amistad TM , Cruz Azul held its first training session at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium on Thursday evening. The Silverbacks held a media session for the press to interview the players and coaches prior to the training session. The team arrived Thursday afternoon after defeating the Carolina RailHawks 2-0 on Wednesday evening in Cary, NC.
The Atlanta Silverbacks and the world-renowned Cruz Azul will kick-off at 8:00 pm at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium in the Silverbacks first-ever Copa Amistad TM [Friendship Cup]. The event is sold out and only ticket holders will be allowed to enter Atlanta Silverbacks Park. To celebrate the monumental event, the Silverbacks will host a pre-game festival which will begin at 4:00 pm inside the stadium. Any person with a ticket for the Copa Amistad TM match is invited to enter the stadium at anytime after 4:00 pm to celebrate the evening’s event. The festival will include a bull-riding machine, a face painting booth, a mariachi band, the Mundo Hispanico Kid’s Zone with two moon walks, and various giveaways from sponsors. No outside food or drink is allowed in the stadium, but concessions will be open during the festival. Onsite parking will open at 3:00 pm and the stadium gates will open at 4:00 pm.
Here are some game-day tips to help make the evening more enjoyable:
-PLAN YOUR PARKING: The high volume of visitors to RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium for the Copa Amistad TM will create a large amount of traffic. Due to the limited amount of parking at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, the Silverbacks have secured a second location for offsite parking. The offsite lot (4360 Northeast Expy) will be located on the I-85 South access road between the Pleasantdale and Northcrest exits. Parking at the stadium will cost $10 and will open at 3:00 pm. Parking at the offsite lot will cost $5 and will open at 6:00 pm – the Silverbacks will have complimentary shuttles between the stadium and the offsite lot running from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am.
-FIND YOUR FRIENDS: Do you already have your tickets? Will you be picking them up at will call? Are they all under one name? Where will you gather with friends to get all your tickets? These are all important questions to consider before leaving for the match on Saturday. Please plan with your friends and family to ensure you all have a great time.
-ENJOY THE EVENT: The Copa Amistad TM is the Silverbacks’ marquee event of the summer and a hot ticket item in Atlanta. Saturday night will be a night to remember, so take full advantage of it. Arrive extra early to enjoy the ease of parking, the lack of heavy traffic, and all the entertainment of the pre-game festival. Be sure to grab a commemorative program with a convenient page for autographs of your favorite players.
If you have any questions regarding Saturday’s match please call 404-969-4900 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
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