The Silverbacks advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open Cup after a dominating 4-1 win over SC United Bantams. A goal from Abraham Lansana, two goals from Deon McCaulay, and a goal straight from kickoff by Alex Harlley were enough for the Silverbacks to earn the right to host Charleston Battery next weekend.
The game was originally scheduled to kickoff to kickoff at 3:30 pm but was delayed until 5 due to “US Soccer Clearance Issues” that ultimately kept Taka and Abdul Bangura from playing.
The Silverbacks got their first goal in the 4th minute when Abraham Lansana scored from out wide on the right side of the box. At first, it looked like a cross, but as the ball flew over the keeper and into the left side of the net, with no Silverbacks player within close enough proximity, it became apparent that it was definitely a shot
Deon McCaulay then added two goals in the 20th and 58th minutes. His first goal composed of a corner delivered by Mitch Garcia finding a Silverbacks player, then the ball being shot into the box where it took a deflection that found Deon’s feet. He made no mistake and made it 2-0. The build-up to the third goal was like poetry in motion that started when Mitch Garcia flicked it over a defender and ran around him to get the ball to Harlley, who then passed it to Deon who finished it to make it 3-0
Meanwhile, Thomas Hunter was given the start in goal, and for most of the game, he didn't put one foot wrong. He had a clean sheet going until a Bantams player went down in the box and was awarded a penalty despite the Silverbacks defender seemingly getting all ball. Leandro Brown then sent Hunter the wrong way to make it 3-1. There wasn't much of anything he could do about it, but he still played a fantastic game. Maybe if the ref in his next start is a bit more competent, he will get his clean sheet.
|Thomas Hunter started in goal for the Silverbacks. Image by Dave Williamson|
What happened next blew the minds of everyone who witnessed it, and also everyone who saw it on the internet hours later. Alex Harlley noticed that the Bantams keeper was off his line, so right from kick off he the launched the ball into the air, over the keeper, and into the net to make it 4-1, which was the final score.
|Silverbacks Players Celebrate after Harlley's wonderstrike. Even a Bantams player can't help but clap for him. Image by Dave Williamson|
Before the game against Charleston next Wednesday, the Silverbacks still have two hurdles to clear. These two hurdles are Carolina United on Friday, and Georgia Revolution on Saturday. I know what you’re thinking: “But Taylor, I have never heard of Carolina United, who the heck are they?” Well, you might remember them from last year as Carolina Discoveries, but right before the season started, they rebranded. Apparently, they thought we needed another club called “United” in America.
The name might be different, but considering that they were blown out 4-1 by Inter Nashville, a club playing the first game in their history, it seems like they’re still the same old Discoveries. Their lone goal was scored by Daniel Revivo, who played his College Soccer at Winthrop from 2005-2009. Their game against the Silverbacks will kick off at 7:30 on Friday, at Silverbacks Park.
Like Carolina United, the Georgia Revolution also lost to a team that was playing the first meaningful game in their history last Saturday. Asheville City defeated the Revs 2-1 last Saturday. Before the game against Asheville, the Revs were defeated 7-1 by Peachtree City MOBA in a friendly.
The Revs roster does look slightly better on paper this year, partly due to the signings of former Silverbacks fan favorites Bryce Billington and Borfor Carr. Saturday’s game will be the first game at North Mt. Carmel Park in Hampton, Georgia. Probably the simplest way to get to North Mt. Carmel is exiting 75 on Jonesboro Road in Mcdonough and then turning left onto N Mt Carmel Road. If you underestimate how long it takes you to get to Henry County, there’s a decent shopping center on Jonesboro Road if you need time to kill. But apart from that, there’s about as much to see as there was when the Revs played in Conyers.
The Silverbacks will be looking to continue building momentum with wins over Carolina United and Georgia Revolution before facing Charleston Battery next Wednesday. Phoday said after last night’s win against SC United Bantams that there were be lots of squad rotation and mentioned Thierry Jules as a player that we could see in one of the two games this weekend. Now, this is just pure speculation on my part, but it wouldn’t be surprising if we also saw Kris Reaves in the mix as well. He is another young, energetic player, and Phoday said in a tweet that he is the biggest thing since Peanut Butter & Jelly, so he definitely has a high opinion of him
It’s bound to be an interesting two days for the Silverbacks. Come to Silverbacks Park after getting off work on Friday, and make the trip down to the Southside and help Silverbacks fans take over the Revs’ new home, just like they took over their old home in Conyers when the two met up. When both games have been played, Planet Of The Backs will be your home for a breakdown of both games, as well as an in-depth preview of the highly anticipated US Open Cup match between the Silverbacks and the Charleston Battery.