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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Preseason Fun Minus the Sun - by Taylor Peyton

Saturday afternoon the Silverbacks played to a 2-2 draw with local amateur side Gladiadores FC. By preseason standards, the crowd at Silverbacks park was fairly decent. Members of Westside 109 and the Atlanta Ultras, as well as,other fans donned Silverbacks jerseys from seasons gone by came out to support the Silverbacks and their new players.

Gladiadores FC scored the first goal on a shot just outside of the 18 yard box when a ball fell to the Gladiadores player who let it fly into the net. The Silverbacks attack seemed a little bit out of sync at the start of the match, and it did not help the opposing goalie made several good saves in the first half. Towards the end of the first half, the Silverbacks attack woke up. The passing was very clean and wingers were providing great crosses to the attackers in the middle but they could not score before the break.

The Silverbacks attack continued to look sharp in the second half. Their first goal of the day came after a shot was stopped by the Gladiadores keeper but the rebound fell to a Silverbacks player that made no mistake. Gladiadores were not done scoring as a delivery from a set piece met the head of a Gladiadores player and went into the net to make it 2-1. In what could only be described as a Manuel Neuer impression gone horribly wrong, the Gladiadores keeper was well outside of his box played the ball, was dispossessed and immediately scored on.

After a steady pattern between no precipitation and a light rain, it really started to pour towards the end of the match, many fans came prepared with umbrellas but eventually it got to the point where they could no longer brave the storm and took off running. The Atlanta Ultras kept on singing and jumping around in the rain.

As the full time whistle sounded, the rain stopped and the sun was back out. After the players changed clothes they went over to thank the Ultras for sticking around and being in full voice despite the storm. The Ultras had one message for the players as they were making the rounds shaking hands with every fan they came across; “Do work in Reading boys! We want to play Chattanooga!”

Despite the goals conceded, and a few missed opportunities, the team looked pretty good from my point of view. The May 11th US Open Cup Match against Reading United is sure to be interesting. Make sure to come to Elder Tree Public House in East Atlanta to watch it with other Silverbacks fans.

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