With the start of the NASL Fall Season just one day away, the Atlanta Silverbacks announced a trio of roster moves. The club has signed midfielders ALEX CACERES and JESUS GONZALEZ, and has mutually parted ways with forward ANDY HERRON.
The Silverbacks, North American Soccer League’s Spring Season Champions, will travel to Minneapolis tomorrow morning ahead of their NASL Fall Season opener against Minnesota United FC at NSC Stadium. The additions of Caceres and Gonzalez will help add pace and creativity to a Silverbacks midfield that stood out during the team’s NASL Spring Season Championship run.
Caceres, 26, comes to Atlanta from PDL side Fresno Fuego, a club that also produced Silverbacks defender Beto Navarro and midfielder Milton Blanco. The Medellin, Colombia native is no stranger to the professional ranks, having played for USL side Sevilla FC Puerto Rico in 2009 and Toros Mexico of the PASL in 2012.
The 5-foot-9 midfielder, who played two years of soccer at Taft College, is another product of Cal FC, the amateur team led by Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda. Caceres recently turned heads in Atlanta with his performance against Guatemalan side Club Xelaju MC. The Colombian came on as a second-half substitute on July 27, and scored a goal within minutes of stepping onto the field.
Taking the connection between the Silverbacks and Cal FC even one step further is Gonzalez, who has also played under Wynalda at the southern California-based club. Both he and Caceres played in Cal FC’s wins over two professional sides, Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) and Portland Timbers (MLS), during their historic run to the fourth round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Gonzalez, 22, is a former U.S. youth national team product that started his soccer career with successful California youth soccer club CZ Elite. The Pasadena native went on to stand out at Mt. San Antonio College or “Mt. SAC,” helping the team post an undefeated record and earn a national title in 2011.
The lone outgoing move of the week came when Herron and the Silverbacks mutually parted ways, citing personal reasons. The former Costa Rica international, acquired in a trade with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in June, never made an appearance for the Silverbacks.
The signings of Caceres and Gonzalez, who have been training with the team in recent weeks, are pending USSF approval. The Silverbacks and Minnesota United FC kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the game can be seen live at NASL.com/live.