ATLANTA, GA - The Atlanta Silverbacks travel to Miami this Sunday, July 27th to battle the Miami FC Blues. The Silverbacks fell to Miami in the clubs’ previous matchup in the U.S. Open Cup last month.
Miami (4-7-8) sits in eighth place in the standings, behind the Silverbacks, though Miami has played in four more games. Meanwhile, Atlanta (5-4-6) is looking to maneuver itself into a comfortable position in a highly competitive USL First Division; just seven points separate third place from last place, and the race for the playoffs has already begun.
In the last match between the two clubs on June 25th, Miami advanced in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup off the foot of Alex Afonso in the 40th minute. Afonso leads the league in both goals scored (8) and points (19), and will be a challenge the Silverbacks’ defense must cope with. Afonso has scored more goals than the rest of his teammates combined.
Atlanta will look to counter the Miami offensive threat with USL standout striker Macoumba Kandji, who leads the league in points per game (1.14) and Silverbacks’ forward Jason McLaughlin who has also done well offensively with five goals scored, good for fifth place in the league.
With the regular season at the midway point for the Silverbacks, Atlanta will work to make a run for the top of the table. While Atlanta has performed well at home, the ‘Backs are still looking for success on the road, sporting a 0-2-3 record.
Miami will look to rebound off a 1-3 loss at the hands of the Montreal Impact. Before the loss, the Blues had carried a nine game unbeaten streak. The success was largely due to the stellar defensive unit for the Blues, who allowed just one goal over the stretch and posted eight shutouts. Consequently, Miami goalkeeper Josh Saunders leads the league in shutouts (10).
Meanwhile, Atlanta is coming off a gripping 1-1 home fixture against Portland in which the Timbers scored in the final minute of play, while Atlanta answered in stoppage time off a goal from Scott Buete. For his efforts, Buete was selected for the USL Week 14 Team of the Week. This marks the third time Buete has earned Team of the Week honors in 2008 (week 8, week 12). The 2007 Silverbacks’ MVP’s goal was his first of the season.
The Silverbacks return to Atlanta on August 1st to take on perennial rival and league-leading Charleston Battery (9-4-3). For tickets or more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.