The sheriff is back in town. The NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks and Colorado Rapids of MLS have worked out a loan agreement that will see goalkeeper Joe Nasco return to his former club, pending league approval.
Nasco, who worked as a Gordon County (Ga.) sheriff before signing with Atlanta in 2012, was named to the 2013 NASL Best XI and helped lead the Silverbacks all the way to the league’s championship game. The loan will be for the remainder of the season, however, the Rapids reserve the right to recall him at any time.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to get some playing time, and the fact that I'll be able do it in Atlanta, where I began my professional career, is a total blessing,” Nasco said. “I think this is a win-win situation for both the Silverbacks and Rapids, and I can’t wait to come in and help the team out in any way that I can.”
As a result of his breakout performances last year, the Rapids signed Nasco this offseason, giving him his first shot at the MLS level. So far this season, Nasco has been battling it out with fellow goalkeepers Clint Irwin and John Berner to earn playing time, but has yet to see first-team action with the Rapids.
“We’re always looking for ways to strengthen our squad, and we have certainly done that by bringing Joe in on loan,” said Silverbacks President & General Manager Andy Smith. “Joe is someone who has had a lot of success, especially here in Atlanta, and we understand him as both a player and a person. This is a great move for both clubs, but most importantly Joe.”
The loan to the Silverbacks will give Nasco the opportunity to get back onto the field, and do it in a place that he is extremely familiar with. The 30-year-old goalkeeper made 26 appearances across all competitions for the Silverbacks during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and quickly became a fan favorite in Atlanta.
The 6-foot-3 Florida native will arrive in Atlanta on Wednesday, and will be available for the Silverbacks’ home game against FC Edmonton on Saturday. Nasco will wear the same jersey number he wears in Colorado - #23.
“Saturday will be a great homecoming for me, and it’ll be special to see all of the Silverbacks fans,” Nasco said. “It was tough leaving all of that this offseason, so I’m just glad I’m able to come back and play in front of some more packed crowds at Silverbacks Park.”