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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Backs With A Vengeance - by Taylor Peyton

Wednesday night, the Silverbacks were knocked out of the US Open Cup 2-0 by Reading United. The lack of scoring chances, subpar officiating, injuries picked up by a few players, and the fact that there would be no road trip to Chattanooga left Silverbacks fans with a terrible taste in their mouths.

While Silverbacks fans accepted that victory was not guaranteed, they did not expect to be left in the dust as they were that night. Two goals coming from Khori Bennett and Frantdzy Pierrot, as well as Atlanta’s lack of offense were enough to knock the Silverbacks out of the US Open Cup.

With the wound still fresh from US Open Cup elimination, there was a collective feeling amongst Silverbacks fans that the match against Georgia Revolution would be a tough game to win. They couldn’t have been more wrong as the Silverbacks went on to win 3-0 on the road in Conyers.

Westside 109, Atlanta Ultras, as well as, other fans spread out across the wooden bleachers opposite the benches arrived in Conyers to make the game a home game for the Backs. Thankfully, every Silverback fan at RYSA Soccerplex was rewarded for their short drive out to Conyers with a dominating performance.

Image by ASFCTrust

Image by ASFCTrust

Mitch Garcia scored the first goal with a brilliant free kick that ended up in the net at the left post, just out of the keeper’s reach. Johanning scored the second goal after a brilliant delivery from Pedro Polaz. Johanning only had to tap it in and with it, the Silverbacks had their brace. The Silverbacks turned on the style for the third goal. Great team play and a breathtaking backheel pass gave Pedro a glorious opportunity to make it 3-0, sealing up a team hat-trick.

Shortly after the fulltime whistle, a few Silverbacks fans and myself had a short talk with the Revs’ new owner. He insisted that the Revolution do have a good team despite the result. He said he would love to establish a tournament with the Silverbacks, the Revolution, Peachtree City MOBA, and Tormenta FC all participating. He also had very high praise for the Silverbacks. He said he had no idea what happened to the Silverbacks in Reading, but the team he saw Saturday night was completely different. He even went on to say the Silverbacks could “end up winning the (South Atlantic) conference” if they continue to play like this.

The Silverbacks are off to a flying start in league play, however it is only one game. Being able to continue playing like they did in Conyers on Saturday night is of the utmost importance and will go a long way towards that potential South Atlantic Conference win. The next opponent in our path is Tobacco Road FC who started their season with a 2-2 draw against Myrtle Beach Mutiny. Tobacco Road FC will also have Georgia Revolution visiting them on Friday, before playing the Silverbacks on Sunday. The Silverbacks also play the Carolina Railhawks NPSL just two days after playing Tobacco Road in Durham. This makes it a bit more interesting all around. How will the squads be rotated for both teams? How much will fatigue come into play? Will being away from home negatively affect the Silverbacks? There are many questions surrounding this road trip for the Silverbacks that will be answered in due time.

There are also many questions surrounding the Women’s team. Right now, all we know about them is the players’ last names and first initials, and that part-owner and the Silverbacks all-time leading scorer Iggy Moleka is the head coach. Fortunately,  their first game is this coming Saturday against Chattanooga FC at Silverbacks Park. By the end of the game, all questions we have will be answered. Make sure to keep supporting YOUR Silverbacks, both men and women.

Image by Dave Williamson

Image by Dave Williamson

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