The Atlanta Silverbacks couldn’t have started the NASL Fall Season any better, earning a 1-0 win away from home against Minnesota United FC last weekend. With three points in hand and some momentum gained from the road win, the Silverbacks will turn their attention towards Saturday’s home game against their southern rivals, the Carolina RailHawks, at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
On a night when the Silverbacks will be handing out NASL Spring Season Championship Posters to their fans and holding a postgame trophy ceremony hosted by NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson, the visiting RailHawks will surely want to do all they can to spoil what is shaping up to be a special night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
After all, the Silverbacks probably aren’t the RailHawks’ favorite team right now. With some help from the San Antonio Scorpions, the Silverbacks took the Spring Season title right from under the RailHawks’ noses on July 4. The Silverbacks also put together a comprehensive 2-0 win over the RailHawks the last time they visited Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
It’s safe to say the RailHawks will be looking for some revenge, along with a key three points that would help them in their quest to earn that final spot in NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 – a match that will ironically enough be played at Atlanta Silverbacks Park against the Silverbacks in November.
The Silverbacks and RailHawks enter Saturday’s game in Atlanta on the heels of the same result. While the Silverbacks grabbed a 1-0 win over Minnesota United, the RailHawks did the same, topping FC Edmonton 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park. Defender Mike Randolph’s goal was the only difference in the Silverbacks’ win. The RailHawks’ goal came from a typical source, forward Brian Shriver, who is among the league leaders in that category.
The RailHawks, who were just one point away from winning the NASL Spring Season, will feature a very strong lineup on Saturday, led by Shriver and midfielder Enzo Martinez. Martinez joined the RailHawks on a temporary loan from Real Salt Lake earlier this year, and he has since extended that loan through the end of the 2013 season.
Head Coach Colin Clarke’s side is still missing forward Nicholas Addlery due to injury, however, they have been boosted by the return of Colombian midfielder Breiner Ortiz. The RailHawks also acquired former Montreal Impact midfielder Bryan Arguez in a trade this July, adding further depth to the side.
The Silverbacks hope to keep their momentum going under head coach Brian Haynes. The club has only lost once in its last eight league games – a run that includes five clean sheets. Furthermore, the Silverbacks have not conceded a single goal from the run of play since their 3-0 loss to FC Edmonton in May.
Saturday’s matchup between two of the four teams that currently sit atop the NASL Fall Season standings will kick off at 7:30 p.m., with parking opening at 3 p.m. and stadium gates opening at 5:30 p.m. The first 1,500 fans will receive a 2013 Team Poster and fans are encouraged to stick around after the game for the trophy ceremony with NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson.
To purchase tickets, call 404-969-4900 or visit atlantasilverbacksfc.com.