June 29, 2007

Silverbacks-Rochester Post-Game Thoughts

Wow, what a win for Atlanta.

This team has been struggling in the USL for the past month, and they get a huge win at the second-place team.

- What really struck me was how bland Rochester played. If that is the second-place team in the USL, then there is a lot of balance in this league. The Rhinos didn't seem to want to take the game to Atlanta for the entire match and it cost them.

- Atlanta got the fortunate bounce on Antoniuk's goal, and from there on they packed it in and got the breakaway goal they needed to close it out.

- While I didn't think the Silverbacks played too much better than they have recently, one thing that I have noticed is how well the defense has been playing. While they do have their nervous moments, they aren't really allowing too many goals. If you can keep the opposition off the scoreboard, you always have a great chance to win.
Atlanta has shut-out their opponents in five of their last six matches (two in the Open Cup), and McIntosh hasn't given up a goal in three-plus matches.

- Hopefully tonight will show Jason Smith how valuable Tony McManus is in the defensive-midfielder role. While it puts a good player (Angel Rivillo) on the bench, McManus is just too much of a fighter too keep him off the field. He knows when to push forward, when to help out one of his defenders, etc.

- Nice to see Queeley get a goal. He looked very awkward on the finish, but it went in and that's all that counts. John is a good guy, and the Cupcake Nation is happy to see him have some success (it's gotta be the shoes!).

- No real complaints about the coaching tonight. I did get worried late in the match with guys cramping up, especially after Rochester had five subs on the field. But the team that played most of the match was solid and I can't argue with sticking with them throughout.

- Wednesday night will be a big test for Atlanta. The Silverbacks haven't won at home in almost two months, and with the Battery coming in they need the three points. Charleston is just two points ahead of the Silverbacks, so a win will push Atlanta ahead of the Battery with the same number of games played.

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