The Atlanta Silverbacks will look to get back on track in USL regular season action this weekend when they host their longtime rival, the Charleston Battery this Saturday, August 4 at 7:55 PM at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium.
The Silverbacks fell to Charleston (6-8-5) twice this year in South Carolina before getting a win at home. Meanwhile, Atlanta (7-7-5) will try to get their offense clicking once again to make a playoff run. Charleston plays tonight, July 31, against Miami FC who is 4-0-1 in their last five matches. The Battery, meanwhile, have just one win in their past seven games although it was a 2-0 defeat of the league-leading Portland Timbers last week. Charleston will look to leader Byron Alvarez to pace the offense - Alvarez has recorded two goals and an assist in the Battery's last two games.
The Silverbacks most recently competed in the Copa Amistad (Friendship Cup), falling 2-1 to Cruz Azul of the Mexican First Division this past Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 4,050. The festivities began hours before game time, with face painting, a mechanical bull, moonwalks, and more. Despite the loss, Atlanta played well and was able to compete with the numerous national team players Cruz Azul claims. Atlanta struck first with a goal from Martyn Lancaster, but Cruz Azul rebounded just minutes later as the rain began to fall with a goal from Cesar "El Chelito" Delgado. Cesar Villaluz put away the game winner in the second half after a beautiful cross from Delgado.
Ryan McIntosh and David Hayes were honored for their performances in the Silverbacks’ most recent USL First Division match, a 0-0 tie against the league-leading Portland Timbers last Thursday in Portland. McIntosh made eight saves in the match while Hayes led the ‘Backs’ defense.
The Silverbacks will be giving away the second set of official player cards to the first 300 fans to enter RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium for this Saturday night’s game.
SILVERBACKS WOMEN WIN CENTRAL CONFERENCE TITLE – SITES NOW SET ON W-LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Atlanta Silverbacks Women breezed through their first-ever playoff appearance last weekend when they outscored their two opponents 9-2 to win the Central Conference Championship. The Silverbacks’ outstanding performances made their playoff presence known and secured their spot in the 2007 W-League Final Four this weekend. The Atlanta Silverbacks Women will face off against the Seattle Sounders in the W-League semifinals this Friday, August 3rd at 5:30 PM at PAETEC Park in Rochester, NY. The W-League semi-finals and championship will be broadcast live on the internet on USLLive.com.
"I think we played really well last weekend; our game against Minnesota was the best we've played this season. It was really pleasing to watch," commented Head Coach Keith Jones. "My job was very easy because our players were already motivated to win."
Atlanta (11-2-1) paved its way to the playoffs by dominating their opponents in the first two rounds of the postseason. After defeating the Michigan Hawks 4-0, the ‘Backs took down the Minnesota Lightning 5-2 after surrendering two late goals.
Seattle (8-4-1) came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the San Diego Sunwaves in the Western Conference Championship in order to advance to the semi-final match against the Silverbacks.
On the line is a spot in the Championship game against either the Rochester Raging Rhinos (5-7-0) or the Washington Freedom (14-1-1). As a host of the finals, the Rhinos automatically advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs.
The Silverbacks’ Melanie Wilson was named the W-League Goalkeeper of the Year for her efforts during the 2007 season. She received the honors after earning a spot on the All Central Conference team and winning the GAA Championship for the league’s lowest goals average of 0.250. The former WUSA Atlanta Beat goalkeeper gave up just two goals in eight games as her Silverbacks allowed just 10 on the season. She also finished tied for the league-lead in shutouts (seven) with Washington’s Kati Spisak and was tied for third in wins with seven. Wilson’s teammates, Christine Latham and Tara Minnax, joined her on the All-Central Conference team for their play throughout the summer.
Be sure to watch the game live online on Friday night; for more information call 404-969-4900 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
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