Match Preview: Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Real Salt Lake


Atlanta Silverbacks vs Real Salt Lake
Atlanta Silverbacks will be hosting a U.S. Open Cup encounter  for the first time at Silverbacks Park, as they take on last year’s Finalists Real Salt Lake of MLS.  This is the second consecutive year the squads have met, with Real Salt Lake needing overtime to defeat the visiting Silverbacks during The Cup's Third Round at Sandy's Rio Tinto Stadium on May 28, 2013. .  The Silverbacks, who are making their third consecutive appearance at the Open Cup under the banner of the NASL, hold a 3-2 tournament record.  Atlanta advanced to this year’s Fourth Round after a 5-0 road victory over NPSL’s Chattanooga FC during Third Round play at Finley Stadium last month.

Scouting Report On NASL Opponent
Founded in 2005 and entering the MLS the following year, Real Salt Lake is making its fifth appearance at the Open Cup and holds a 6-5 record, reaching the finals in 2013.  Real Salt Lake has also advanced to the MLS Finals twice, winning it in 2009.  Under the direction of coach Jeff Cassar, Real Salt Lake have a 6-7-2 record (22 points) in the MLS Western Conference.  The club’s offense is led by forwards Alvario Saborio of Costa Rica and Ecuadorian Joao Plata with six goals each.

Last Meeting Between The Clubs
2013 U.S. Open Cup Third Round
05.28: Sandy, Utah; Rio Tinto Stadium (A: 9644)
Kyle BECKERMAN 3’; Devon SANDOVAL 98’; Khari STEPHENSON 101’ – Kellen GULLEY 87’; Pablo CRUZ 120+
Real Salt Lake: Josh Saunders - Lovel Palmer, Carlos Salcedo, Kwame Watso-Siriboe, Chris Wingert; Yordany Alvarez (84: Khari Stephenson), Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Velasquez (57: Ned Grabavoy), Javier Morales; Devon Sandoval, Robbie Findley (73: Joao Plata).  Booked: Alvarez 4’, Morales 68’, Grabavoy 117’
Atlanta Silverbacks: Joe Nasco - Bobby Reiss, Alberto Navarro, Mike Randolph, Mark Bloom; Richard Menjivar, Daniel Barrera, Milton Blanco, Borfor Carr (91: Pablo Cruz), Jahbari Willis (64: Kellen Gulley), Pedro Mendes (78: Ruben Luna).  Booked: Barrera 44’, Blanco 65’, Carr 80’

Team Recognitions
• 2013 NASL Spring Season Winner

• 2009 MLS Champion
• 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League Runner-up
• 2013 MLS Runner-up
• 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Runner-up

League Stats Leaders
ATL-Goals – Jaime Chavez (5); Assists – Blair Gavin (3)
RSL-Goals – Joao Plata, Alvaro Saborio (6); Assists – Javier Morales (5)

Silverbacks Coach’s Quote
“Saturday’s game will be a wonderful occasion for our organization, our players, and most importantly our fans. Regardless of the personnel, Real Salt Lake is one of the teams that stays true to its style of play. It’s a free-flowing, fast-moving system that causes problems for every team that they play against. We expect a big challenge from what will surely be a very tough Real Salt Lake side.” – Eric Wynalda