The Silverbacks form as of late has been worrying. Their last win was on June 8, and they have only earned 2 points in their last 4 games. The two draws both took place on the road against Asheville, and Birmingham respectively. In both losses at home against Asheville and New Orleans, the Silverbacks had a 1-0 lead and ended up losing the game 2-1.
The encouraging thing for the Silverbacks is that the Georgia Revolution still have not won a game this season. Their worst loss came this past Tuesday when they were annihilated 7-0 by Chattanooga at Finley Stadium. They have lost 5 straight games, and their last point came from a 2-2 draw against Asheville on June 10.
To add insult to injury, it looks their starting goalkeeper, former Silverback Bryce Billington, will not be playing in the game on Saturday. He made a post on Instagram thanking the Revs, and saying his next stop was London on Saturday. Before joining the Silverbacks, Bryce spent some time in Aberdeen, so it’s not far-fetched to think that he might be going to London for a trial with an English club.
Last time the Revs and Silverbacks faced off, the Silverbacks were victorious by a score of 1-0, after only having played against Carolina United about 23 hours beforehand. Avery Shepherd scored the game’s lone goal with a diving header, and Thomas Hunter made several great saves to preserve his clean sheet.
The history of the Silverbacks vs. Revolution rivalry is a bit complicated. Mainly because of the differentiation with the old NASL first time, and the old Reserves team that is now the First team. But if you want to go back to the last time the Revolution beat the Silverbacks, it was on June 20, 2015 when they beat the Reserves 3-2 in Conyers. The weird thing about that game was that it was 0-0 at halftime, but then 5 goals were scored in the second half.
The scenarios are very simple for both teams. The Silverbacks are already in the playoffs, and a win over the Revolution would guarantee a home game on Tuesday against Asheville, and the Revolution would finish the season winless for the first time in their history. A win for the Revolution however, would lead to them avoiding that embarrassing record, and it would open up the possibility of the Silverbacks having to travel to Asheville on Tuesday, in addition to having to travel to New Orleans in Friday if they win their first playoff game.
The Silverbacks are favorites in this game regardless, but these last 4 games have been tough to watch, and the disappointment from the players has been evident. This is their chance to have a statement win heading into the playoffs. A win's a win no matter what, but a lopsided victory in favor of the Silverbacks would do wonders for morale heading into the playoffs. That being said, the Silverbacks ended the 2016 regular season with two draws against Myrtle Beach Mutiny and Carolina Discoveries, only to humiliate the Carolina Railhawks 4-0 at Georgia Gwinnett College in their first playoff game (one year ago today, to be exact). So maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if it was only a 1-0 or 2-1 win.
Is it rational to feel nervous about a game against a winless team when the team you support has also been going through a rough period as of late? Of course. A large part of me feels optimistic because I’ve seen the Silverbacks play at their best, and I know what they’re capable of, but these last few games have got me feeling down so I am somewhat worried that the Revs might somehow find a way to win. The reason the games are played on the pitch instead of on paper is that nobody knows what’s really going to happen. The only way to see it all unfold is come to Silverbacks Park on Saturday, July 8.