MATCH PREVIEW: GEORGIA REVOLUTION
The Atlanta Silverbacks conclude the regular season against cross-town rival Georgia Revolution FC in the second leg of the Atlanta derby. The struggling Revs will look to improve upon the 3 points they have, while the ‘Backs look for the #2 spot in the East division heading into the NPSL Southeast Conference Quarterfinal with Asheville City SC on Tuesday. Kickoff is Saturday at 5:00 PM.
GEORGIA REVOLUTION FC
The Revs have only produced three points on the year, but some of those results were impressive. They have three home draws this year: 2-2 against FC Carolina United on May 20th, 0-0 against Chattanooga FC on June 3rd, and 2-2against Asheville City SC on June 10th. Expect the last place side to bring plenty of energy to their final match of the season at Silverbacks Park.
In the third match of the year, the ‘Backs travelled to North Mount Carmel on the second night of a back-to-back. Coming off of an offensive explosion against FC Carolina United the night before, Atlanta looked to string together wins and get to the top of the table. The match that ensued was a tough, physical battle that fanned the flames of this growing rivalry. Reliable forward Avery Shepard struck early with a magnificent 7th minute header to give the ‘Backs a 1-0 lead. It seemed that the offensive onslaught from the night before would continue for Atlanta. But former Silverback goalie Bryce Billington and the Revs defense clamped down on the potent ‘Backs attack. As the match transpired, the heated nature only increased. The frustration of not converting multiple chances began to weigh on the Revolution. Both teams had tempers flare, as both received red cards and finished the match with 10 men. The 1-0 win for Atlanta was a spring board of confidence heading into the U.S. Open Cup match with the Charleston Battery the following Wednesday.
PLAYER TO WATCH
With his return from nagging injuries through the middle stretch of the season, Alex Nyarko Harlley has provided some fire to a squad that began to lose its way. With forward Keka out for the last match and a half, Harlley has provided the offensive threat opposite Joao Johanning Mora. His big play ability has been on display at moments throughout the season, even in the 2-1 loss to New Orleans Saturday.
As the player to watch, we expect Alex will have an immediate impact on the match. As teams have adjusted to (clamped down on) Joao Johanning Mora, the opposite side of the offense has produced plenty of chances. We saw it with Keka, and now expect to see Harlley bring the pressure Saturday as Atlanta looks to clinch a home playoff match.
For Atlanta – It’s simple: win and you are the #2 team in the East. Draw or lose? You risk falling to third behind Asheville City SC before Tuesday’s NPSL Southeast Conference Quarterfinal.
For Georgia Revolution – In the standings, there is not much left for the Revs to play for. A win still will not put them above FC Carolina United in the East standings. For Georgia, it is about finishing the season strong and making life very difficult for their cross-town rivals.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
It is the final match day of the regular season for the NPSL Southeast Conference. Check out What’s On Tap to see the full slate. Inter Nashville FC and Asheville City SC have plenty to play for at Memorial Stadium Saturday night, as both look to host their respective quarterfinal matchups. Memphis City looks to knock off Knoxville in a last-ditch effort to steal a playoff spot. By midnight Saturday, we will know exactly what six teams will battle for the Conference Championship and which four will matchup up on Tuesday night.
Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Silverbacks information. If you cannot make it to Silverbacks Park Saturday, tune in to ‘Silverbacks Soccer Live!’ with Justin Hanover and Jon Nelson. The guys will bring the action on the pitch to your laptop, tablet, and mobile device.