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.