Last week, after giving up a goal in the first minute, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Silverbacks' playoff hopes were over. The players fought back though, scoring twice in a four minute span, to keep Atlanta in the hunt for a playoff spot. Tonight, they travel to San Antonio to face a Scorpions team that has won once in their last five games.
San Antonio Scorpions
Lost 2-0 at Tampa Bay Rowdies
Won 2-0 vs. Indy Eleven (goals by Castillo )
Drew 3-3 vs. Carolina Railhawks (goals by Chavez , Castillo)
Won 2-1 vs. Carolina Railhawks (goals by Mendes, Porter)
Lost 2-1 vs. Minnesota United (goal by Mendes)
Lost 2-0 at Carolina Railhawks
San Antonio Scorpions
Fernandes; DeRoux, Attakora, Cann, Palacios; Gibson, Tsiskaridze, Chavez, Castillo, Forbes; Cummings
San Antonio has a great deal of attacking talent and always prove to be a tough match-up for the Silverbacks. Billy Forbes is one of the fastest players in the NASL and is always a threat. Omar Cummings is a veteran forward who has scored goals everywhere he's been. Rafael Castillo is taking advantage of teams placing attention on the others to score 16 goals in the last two seasons.
Ceus; Black, Mensing, McKenzie; Mendes, Reed, Porter, Burgos, Kimura; Chavez, Mendes
Rauwshan McKenzie returns after his red card suspension against Carolina. The backline will be under severe pressure against the speed and attacking numbers the Scorpions bring to the table. Look for Porter/Kimura to sit deeper often and give the appearance of a 5-3-2 formation. Michael Reed and Paulo Mendes will be critical to shutting down Rafael Castillo.
1- Burgos vs. Scorpions' defensive midfield
Junior Burgos has shown in recent weeks that he is more than a free kick specialist and a scorer from distance. He is really settling into a playmaker role and embracing it. He will be critical in launching Atlanta counterattacks. With San Antonio committing large numbers to the attack, Burgos can be the key going the other way.
2- Keeping the Scorpions in front of you
Billy Forbes has been a Silverbacks killer over the years, consistently getting behind the Atlanta defense with his speed. When this happens, he usually either creates goals for others or scores them for himself. The Atlanta wing backs can't let this happen tonight.
3- Eliminating unforced errors
Against Minnesota, McKenzie earned a red card in the first five minutes. Against Carolina, Ceus drilled a clearance directly into a Railhawks player that ended up in the back of the net. At this point in the season, these types of mistakes are the ones that can keep you out of the playoffs. With a back-to-back series coming up with the Cosmos, this is a winnable game on the road. Atlanta has to play a clean, smart game to get the full three point and stay alive in the playoff race.
How to Watch
Who: San Antonio Scorpions vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Where: Toyota Field, San Antonio, TX
When: Saturday, September 26, 8:30 p.m. ET