Planet Backs 300x250

Friday, May 25, 2018

'backs Look To Strike Back Against Asheville

The Silverbacks will look to avenge 3-1 road loss they suffered at the hands of Asheville City on May 26 when they host the same Asheville team in their home opener. The Silverbacks have not played since the aforementioned May 19 loss while Asheville played Chattanooga FC to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, May 23.

Asheville struck first in the game that took place last saturday when a penalty kick was converted by Bruno Andrade in the 7th minute. The Silverbacks would answer 14 minutes later with former FC Cincinnati player Aaron Walker converting a penalty kick for his first Silverbacks goal.

The two teams went into halftime level but Asheville would retake the lead on a goal by Thomas Deeley in the 54th minute when his run went completely unnoticed by the Silverbacks defenders. The lead was later doubled by Hannes Burmeister in the 64th minute after assisting Deeley's earlier goal. A whiffed clearance attempt by a Silverbacks defender left the door wide open for Burmeister who converted his chance with ease. Burmeister is one of three players on Asheville City's roster that currently attends Georgia State University. The other two are Frank Rosenwald and Lukas Joyner. Substitutions played a big part in the game as the aforementioned duo of Deeley and Burmeister did not start the game, entering in the 46th and 53rd minutes respectively.

In order to get a better result, the Silverbacks will have to make sure these defensive mistakes are not repeated, and the attack must not be as stagnant as it was. The season is still in its early days but another loss to Asheville could be a setback in Atlanta's race for the regular season Southeast Conference Title. Kickoff is set for 7pm at Silverbacks Park on Saturday, May 26.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Learning The Ways Of The (Emerald) Force

The Silverbacks' NPSL Season opener will be this Wednesday, May 16, in Knoxville against Emerald Force SC.

The majority of players on the Force's roster are from Knoxville, as well as surrounding towns, but there are a few exceptions. Some players hail from places like Nashville, Wycombe, and even Duluth. A Couple of players to watch are Lucas Altman, who was Wofford's top scorer last year. Connor Jacobs who scored 3 goals and recorded 6 assists last season for John Hopkins. Alexander Garuba who played his High School Soccer at Duluth High, and was All-County his senior year. A few returners from last year's team include Ashley Kelynack and Kalulu Bamba.

The Silverbacks beat the Force twice in as many meetings last season. The first meeting was a 2-0 win at Silverbacks Park. It was in this game that DZ Harmon scored his first goal with the Silverbacks, and Avery Shepherd made an immediate impact by scoring the second goal only 12 minutes after coming on as a sub. The game wasn't without controversy though, as Mitch Garcia posted a picture of his face bloodied up after that game with a caption stating his annoyance towards Knoxville players continuously elbowing him while going for headers.

The second meeting in Knoxville was a 4-2 win for the Silverbacks. That game is probably best remembered as Keka's breakout game in the red and black. He scored two goals against the Force and continued to wreak havoc on every team he faced after that. The other goals were scored by Joao Johanning Mora and Abraham Lansana.

If all goes to plan, the match will be stream by the Force's supporter group, Scruffy City Syndicate will be streaming the match live. A fan's best bet is to keep a sharp eye on their social media, as well as Silverbacks social media for the link. After Wednesday's match, the Silverbacks will travel to Asheville on Saturday for their second game, and then prepare for their home opener on May 26, also against Asheville.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Silverbacks vs Life University Preview

The last preseason test for the Silverbacks comes in the form of the Life University Running Eagles, on Friday, May 11, in Marietta. The Silverbacks are coming off of a 1-1 draw against a very formidable Jacksonville Armada team, and a 6-0 win over AFC Mobile before that.

 Life Unversity Men's Soccer is still a relatively young program that began play in 2016. Featuring Silverbacks forward Thierry Jules, Life's 2017 team went 9-9 in the regular season, with a first-round victory in the Mid-South Conference tournament over the University Of The Cumberlands before falling to Lindsey Wilson in the following round. Thierry Jules lead the team with 10 goals and 4 assists and was followed closely by Wessley Soronellas (9 goals 2 assists), and Marek Beno (6 goals 2 assists). 

The Running Eagles are lead by Alex Pama who is notable for his success as an executive with SC Cambuur in The Netherlands. Pama was the CEO at Cambuur during a fascinating time in the club's history with record attendance, record jersey sales, and near promotion in 2009 and 2010. Cambuur did eventually get promoted to the first tier of Dutch Soccer in 2013, shortly after Pama had left, but he no doubt played a significant role in helping them get there. 

Kentaro "Taka" Takada, a member of the 2017 Silverbacks team, also served as a Volunteer Assistant on the Running Eagles coaching staff. Taka recent announced on Twitter that he won't be playing for the Silverbacks this season, so maybe coaching is the next phase for him.

With the season opener on the road against Emerald Force (Formally Knoxville Force) fast approaching, it's crucial for the Silverbacks to continue the positive the positive momentum they've been building this preseason. Kickoff is set for Friday, 7 pm at Lupo Field in Marrietta.