Much credit to the Silverbacks for their Open Cup win over Charlotte tonight. It was the best game I've seen them play in person this season, with only the Puerto Rico win surpassing it in 2007.
Charlotte controlled the first half, with much of it being played in the Atlanta half. Scoggins, the top scorer in D2 had a couple of chances to put the Eagles on top. While the Atlanta defense didn't look overly strong, they got the job done and went into the break with a 0-0 scoreline.
Coach Smith made a smart move by putting Tony McManus in at halftime. I think the offense might've been better by switching Buete out to the left and Rios into the middle, but inserting McManus definitely stabilized the middle of the field. The team didn't really generate a whole lot of chances, but capitalized with a Warren Ukah goal off of a Rios corner.
As the game went on, it was pretty clear that a second goal just wasn't on the cards for the Silverbacks. They did a very good job of solidifying the team and closing out the win, something that has been lacking over the years.
Solid performance, and one that will now take the 'Backs to the big oven in Frisco, TX for a match with FC Dallas in the next round of the Open Cup.