After the Silverbacks were eliminated from the NPSL playoffs by the New Orleans Jesters, the fans have been left to think what could have been. Expectations were high this year in both the US Open Cup and the NPSL, but the Silverbacks ended up falling short, and it is understandable if it leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. The small consolation for the fans was that there were still friendlies against Lowcountry United at home, and another one against Savannah Clovers on the road. However, that situation has changed, and now the friendlies have a much different outlook. The game against Lowcountry is still going to be played on August 26th at Silverbacks Park, but the away game against Savannah Clovers that was scheduled to be played on August 19th is currently in limbo after the Silverbacks Twitter account announced that it was being rescheduled. Replacing it, is a friendly against the United States Men’s National Under-17 team that is scheduled to kick off at 11 am on Saturday, July 29th, at Silverbacks Park.
There is still a chance of the game against Savannah being played, but the rescheduling is unfortunate for a particular blogger (who will remain anonymous) that was planning to head down there with a bunch of his other Silverback-supporting friends , and spend the weekend in Savannah in addition to watching the team play.
The Friendly against the under-17 US National team was announced at 12:30 pm on Thursday, July 20, just 9 days before it was scheduled to take place. The kickoff time was announced as 11 am, the earliest the Silverbacks have had to kick off since preseason. The advantage to having a kickoff at 11 am is that it won’t be painfully hot like it would be at 5 pm, and the disadvantages of it are… pretty much everything else.
For the under-17 players, this friendly is part of their preparations for their World Cup that is set to take place in October of this year, in India. A few notable names in the squad include Josh Sargent who played in the under-20 World Cup earlier this summer and will be joining Werder Bremen when he turns 18. Nicolas Garcia-Morillo who is property of Atletico Madrid. Chris Durkin who made his debut for DC United last year at age 16. Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus of Hoffenheim, and Jaylin Lindsey who became the first American born in the 2000s to make his professional debut when he first appeared for Swope Park Rangers of the USL in early 2016.
A question on the minds of some people is what kind of lineup will the Silverbacks put out against the under-17 team. Will it be the usual suspects, or will it mostly young players whose chances were limited this year? Time will tell, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of lineup Phoday comes up with to approach this game
As far as seeing the under-17 team goes, it’s kind of hit and miss because, for every group of young players, only a few make it big. It’ll be cool to say that you saw the players who did make it big when they were only 16-17 years old, but there will also be the players that fall off to the point where you forget that they exist and you have to check their Wikipedia page to see if they’re still playing, and where they are playing if so. I remember thinking it was a big deal when I saw Ben Spencer play for Indy Eleven against the Silverbacks back in early 2014 while on loan from Molde in Norway, because of his success with youth national teams before then. Fast forward to 2017, he is no longer playing in Europe and is currently far down the pecking order at Toronto FC.
So if you can wake up early enough, head to Silverbacks Park next Saturday morning and take in this somewhat odd, but still intriguing friendly. It’s undetermined if there will be a parking fee or not, but maybe if you catch the parking attendant before he or she has had their coffee, maybe you can sneak past them.