The 2015 season ends today for the Atlanta Silverbacks as they host the Ottawa Fury at Silverbacks Park. It's been a roller coaster rode for Atlanta in 2015 and the team is looking to end on a high note.
Ottawa has a big prize to play for, top seed in the upcoming NASL playoffs. After a 9th place finish in the short spring season, the Fury turned it on in the second half. With the Fall Season already clinched, a win today for Ottawa guarantees them the top seed for the postseason. A draw or loss opens the door for the Spring Season champion New York Cosmos to steal the number one spot.
Atlanta followed up a poor first half with a much improved Fall Season. Some new faces like Junior Burgos and Pedro Mendes contributed to the second half run, as well as some tactical changes in formation. Coach Gary Smith's squad was unable to climb to the top of the mountain though, with their playoff hopes ended a few weeks ago. Today, the Silverbacks can play the spoiler role and end the season with a treat on Halloween.
Some keys to watch for:
- As is the case for a team in this situation, many of the Silverbacks players will look at today as an audition for a job in 2016. With the uncertain status of the Silverbacks, a strong final memory of the 2015 season could help players like Burgos, Mendes, and leading scorer Jaime Chavez as they build a case for a roster spot in the league next year.
- Will Coach Gary Smith use the opportunity to give time to some players who haven't seen the field as often in 2015?
- Look for a fired up Silverbacks squad starting the game, looking to end the season on a high note. With some early success, hopefully that type of attitude can continue for 90 minutes. If Ottawa jumps out to an early lead, it could be a tough road for the home team.
How to Watch
Who: Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Ottawa Fury
Where: Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA
When: Saturday, October 31, 4:00 p.m. ET