Edit: Damn, somebody find me a picture of the USL-1 Championship Trophy. You think it'd be on the USL site, but I can't find it. (Editor- Ask and ye shall receive, from Vancouver last year...)
As unbelievable as it may sound, the Silverbacks ARE IN THE USL-1 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. I must admit, I didn't give them much of a chance today, and after the first half I was sure Portland was going to score the goal that Atlanta would be unable to answer.
But Ryan McIntosh made a couple of big saves and the boys kept it scoreless.
And in all honesty, I've got to applaud Jason Smith's subs. He got a lot more out of Wolfe and Ukah than he did Antoniuk and Millwood, but once again the Rivillo for Liendo sub changed the game. The Silverbacks finally had an offensive option besides playing the longball which was cut out by Portland all night. Rivillo opened things up in midfield and got the traffic going the other way for a little while, even though the chances on goal were extremely few and far between.
The first period of extra time was the best spell Atlanta had all game, they actually had some sustained possession, even if they couldn't get much on goal.
And they managed to hold off the Timbers in the second period, when they came out throwing everything forward. Portland came out on fire in the final 15, but they were stopped once again.
And what was I thinking back to going to PKs? The US Open Cup game against FC Dallas. McIntosh came up huge but his teammates let him down. It looked to be more of the same as Rodrigo stepped up for the first and blasted it over the bar (according to the FSC announcers, due to the fact that they were on a commercial break when it happened).
But luck was on their side as Andrew Gregor smacked his off the post. Rivillo and Macoumba stepped up and smoothly put their kicks past Josh Wicks, with Portland scoring in between. But then the Timbers' kicker put his wide left and Ukah put his in.
Then McIntosh stepped up and showed why he's probably going to be back in MLS next season, stopping the last kick and sending me into shock.
Although rumors are abound on the USL Discussion forums that Qwest Field is already booked for Saturday night (Seattle, as the higher seed, has the first bid for the championship), I'm already looking into flights to Seattle.
And for some of us with little cash, AirTran has this kickass Bill Me Later option that might help. Mark my words, the Cupcake Nation will be represented, whether the game be in Seattle, Tukwila or Atlanta.
So register and leave your comments. And remember, NOW'S THE TIME TO CELEBRATE AND COME TOGETHER. All the haters, cry me a fvcking river.
Edit: Seattle has announced that they'll be hosting the game in Tukwila at the Starfire Sports Complex.