Atlanta Silverbacks 0-2 NSC Minnesota Stars
The NSC Minnesota Stars love seeing the Silverbacks. Saturday night’s shutout win was their third victory of the 2011 season over Atlanta, and boosted the Stars back into the second place spot in the NASL standings with17 points, 8 behind first-place Carolina.
Devin Del Do was the goal-scoring hero for the Stars, providing both goals after scoring during the week against the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Cal State-Northridge alumnus broke the game open early, hustling to a Andrei Gotsmanov cross to chip past an onrushing Felipe Quintero in the game’s third minute. The 2,400 fans in attendance already sensed the hand of fate pushing back the Silverbacks. The club hasn’t scored a goal since the end of April, and were unable to get the ball past Stars’ keeper Joe Warren. Silverbacks’ Tyler Ruthven had a shot go high past the half hour mark and Warren made a nice reactive kick save of a ball rolling towards the Stars’ net. Right now the Silverbacks couldn’t buy a goal even with a check endorsed by Warren Buffett.
And so, the song remains the same for Atlanta fans. Despite periods of quality possession, the young team surrendered Del Do’s fourth goal of the season just past the hour mark. This time Brian Kallman played provider, as his cross found Del Do’s head for a 2-0 lead. Atlanta outshot NSC Minnesota 12-10 and edged the Northerners in corner kicks 5-3, but to no avail.
The victory wasn’t the Stars’ most impressive of the season, but a win is a win is a win, and Manny Lagos’ club snatched a needed three points in their final 2011 visit to the Peachtree state. The Stars have a deep and talented squad, and Joe Warren is providing the type of top-notch goalkeeping that make the Stars a tough club to beat.
For the winless Atlanta side, it’s time to take a tip from Dr. Gerry. Party. A team party, complete with tasty Georgia barbeque, cold beer, Mexican food, loud music and no soccer talk. Horseshoes, wiffleball and cannonballs into a pool are called for instead. Laughter and camaraderie may be the recipe that gets the Silverbacks onto the good foot. The good doctor can’t guarantee a string of victories afterward, but will promise some smiles from the coaches and players who need a break. Atlanta is a quality soccer town and the doctor knows everyone is pressing to get a win. Relax and party.