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Monday, November 14, 2016

Two Silverback Opponents Fold - By Taylor Peyton

The layout of the NPSL South Atlantic Conference seems to have changed significantly after it was announced by league chairman Joe Barone that Myrtle Beach Mutiny, and Tobacco Road FC would no longer be competing in the NPSL. Now only four teams remain in the South Atlantic; The Railhawks reserve squad, FC Carolina Discoveries, Georgia Revolution, and the Silverbacks.

Asheville City has just been announced as the NPSL’s latest expansion team, and for all, we know there still could be some expansion announcements yet to come. It’s unclear whether Asheville and another expansion team will be added to fill the two spots with the remaining teams staying put, if there will be a bit of realignment within conferences, or if the South Atlantic Conference will just be made up of five teams. Something else to consider is that Nashville FC still needs to be replaced, but that’s a different story altogether.

2016 was Tobacco Road’s first season in the NPSL, and it would turn out to be their last. In 3 games against the Silverbacks, they were able to steal a point on a late penalty in Durham but lost at Silverbacks Park Twice. The first one being a 2-1 Silverbacks win during the regular season, and the second one being that memorable South Atlantic Championship game.

Myrtle Beach Mutiny fared a little bit better in two meetings against the Silverbacks, beating them 2-1 at Silverbacks Park, and sharing points in a 2-2 draw at Ashley Booth Stadium. The Mutiny will most likely be remembered for that chippy and tense game at Silverbacks Park where one of their players Aksel Juul taunted the Atlanta Ultras after scoring what ended up being the winning goal.

There’s still a long way to go in the offseason, but this seems to be the start of “silly season.” Many scenarios could play out. Could the Silverbacks be moved to the Southeast, reigniting their rivalry with Chattanooga FC? Or will the Silverbacks stay put and have the upstart Asheville City SC on their schedule in addition to the rest of their old foes from last season? Only time will tell, and there’s lots of time left for Speculation.