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Friday, July 22, 2016

WE'RE PLAYING A PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM.......................................'s U23 squad. - By Ben Whitehead

First, I want to apologize for this article being later than usual. As you can (hopefully) tell, I am not Taylor and his promptness far outshines mine.

Okay, so much like everyone else, this news was kind of felt like being a Star Wars fan circa 1997 - You have good news about something coming, but the closer it gets, the more you realize it isn't what you thought it was.

Even so, this is a great way for our Silverbacks to match themselves against a quality squad after a Championship Season. The squad in question is Middlesbrough FC U23s. At first, we were told it would be the first team who were just promoted to the Premier League. In our Jar Jar Binks moment, we realized it was the reserves. That being said, this is still a golden opportunity for our Backs. The Boro U23s will compete this year in the Premier League 2, which replaced the Under 21 Premier League for the 2016-17 season. The PL 2 is split into two divisions (1 & 2) which have 12 teams each. The two divisions have a promotion and relegation structure. Division 1 winner is the Champion of the League and its bottom two are relegated. The winner of Division 2 is promoted to Division 1 and the 2nd-5th teams engage in a playoff for the second spot, while there is no relegation out of Division 2.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, back to the soccer. Boro won the U21 PL Div 2 in 2014/15. Their 2015/16 campaign did not fare as well, leading them to an 11th place finish in Division 1 and relegation. They will be in Division 2 of the revamped PL2. Their squad is stocked with players who have trained with and even earned first team minutes with some of the best clubs in the world.

In fate's own way, they get to play one the world's best teams this Saturday. Middlesbrough travel to Silverbacks Park to play Willie B. FC in what should be a quality clash of squads. The game is the second of a doubleheader with the Silverbacks Women, whose playoff match starts at 2:00 pm. The match starts at 5:00 pm. Tickets start at $20 when you purchase online and $25 at the gate. Kids 10 and under are free.

Come out tomorrow, #SupportOURSilverbacks, and enjoy a piece of international football as well.

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