Match Center

  • CompetitionNASL
  • Attendance4810
  • Date26 Jul 14
  • VenueAtlanta Silverbacks Park
Atlanta Silverbacks
Atlanta Silverbacks 1
Minnesota United FC 1
Minnesota United FC

J. Chávez90'

47'C. Ramirez

Match Preview: Atlanta Silverbacks vs Minnesota United FC

Match Preview: Atlanta Silverbacks vs Minnesota United FC




NASL Spring Champion Minnesota United FC looks to continue its unbeaten streak, currently six NASL games, when it visits Atlanta Silverbacks at Silverbacks Park.  Minnesota comes into this weekend’s encounter after posting a 1-0 home win over Carolina RailHawks last Thursday, while Atlanta earned its first victory of the Fall Season by topping visiting FC Edmonton, 1-0.  United leads the head-to-head series against the Silverbacks, however Atlanta has won three out of its last four meetings.  The last time both clubs faced off was this past Spring when goals from midfielder Greg Jordan and forward Christian Ramirez gave visiting Minnesota a 2-1 victory at Atlanta Silverbacks Park


Last Five Games:  ATL – W L T L W                                               MNU – T W T W W                                                                                                                                                


ATL-Pablo Cruz, Mike Randolph (Team of the Week-2)

MNU-Cristiano Dias, Floyd Franks, Daniel Mendes (Team of the Week-2)


Stats leaders:

ATL-Goals – Jaime Chávez (5); Assists – Blair Gavin (3)

MNU-Goals– Christian Ramirez (6); Assists – Christian Ramirez (4)



MNU-Justin Davis



NASL Head-to-Head: (13 meetings): United 7 wins, 2 ties, 4 losses— 20 GF/16 GA (+4 GD)

At Silverbacks: (7 meetings): United 4 wins, 2 ties, 1 loss — 13 GF/10 GA (+3 GD)

Last Spring Season: (1 meeting) United 1 win, 0 ties, 0 losses— 2 GF/1 GA (+1 GD)

Last Meeting: May 31, 2014 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park – Silverbacks 1-2 United


Coaches quotes:

“It’s always a difficult transition at this time of the year, but the boys look really good. We’re just going to have to see if we can tweak a few things and make everyone a little bit sharper. I think the team morale is high so far, and there are a lot of things we can do in a short period of time to improve our overall performance.” – Silverbacks coach Jason Smith

“The games are going to be tough for us because all our opponents know they are going to be up against the Spring Champions. There is a lot for us to be wary of, but at the same time I think we should be going in with some confidence belief about what we have been doing as a team this entire season. We need to make sure we bring that to the field on Saturday in Atlanta.” – United coach Manny Lagos


Referee: Chris Penso

Asst 1: Richonne Clark

Asst 2: Chris Heintzman

4th: Khadime Sabara


Atlanta Silverbacks 1 Minnesota United FC 1

It wasn’t pretty, but the Atlanta Silverbacks grinded out a 1-1 draw against red-hot Minnesota United FC in front of 4,810 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.


It wasn’t pretty, but the Atlanta Silverbacks grinded out a 1-1 draw against red-hot Minnesota United FC in front of 4,810 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Forward Jaime Chavez’s late penalty kick in second-half stoppage time earned the Silverbacks a key point against Minnesota United FC, who extended their NASL unbeaten streak to seven games. Chavez’s goal cancelled out an earlier strike from the league’s leading scorer, Christian Ramirez.
The Silverbacks entered Saturday’s clash under new guidance, with head coach Jason Smith taking the helm for the first time this season. Smith, who coached the Silverbacks from 2005-2008, made just one change from the side that beat FC Edmonton last weekend. Midfielder Jesus Gonzalez came into the fold for Pablo Cruz, meaning the Silverbacks fielded a slightly more defensive lineup against the Spring Season Champions. 
The first half was more about defending than generating scoring opportunities. Both sides displayed extremely well organized back lines, preventing any real chances from threatening either goal. The Silverbacks had the night’s first look on goal within the first five minutes, with midfielder Kwadwo Poku testing United goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt from 20 yards out.
Just before halftime, Silverbacks midfielder Junior Burgos’ corner kick found the head of defender Ryan Roushandel, but the Atlanta native’s effort bounced just over the net from only a few yards out.
The Silverbacks lost a bit of focus coming out of the locker room after halftime, and they paid for it almost immediately. Less than two minutes into the second half, United midfielder Miguel Ibarra poked the ball into the path of Ramirez, who smartly rounded Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Nasco to place the ball into an empty net for a 1-0 lead.
A response was needed from the home side following the goal and Poku nearly provided that in the 51st minute. The Ghanaian midfielder bypassed a defender and squared the ball in front of the net for Chavez, but a last-ditch tackle by a visiting defender kept the score at 1-0.
All evening long, United’s defense proved to be a tough nut to crack. The visitors’ well-organized back line showed why they went on to win the NASL Spring Season Championship. Although United’s defense was the story, a member of their attack nearly made it 2-0 in the 68th minute. Forward Daniel Mendes looked to have scored his third goal in as many league games, but the crossbar was there to deny him as Nasco looked on hopelessly.
Smith brought on Cruz, who scored last week against FC Edmonton, in the 70th minute and breathed a little bit of life into the Silverbacks team. Just under 20 minutes after his introduction, Cruz was involved in the two plays that led to the Silverbacks’ equalizer.
In the 89th minute, some tricky dribbling from Cruz drew a foul just outside of the visiting penalty area. The Pasadena, Calif. native then stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, and while he launched it straight into the wall, it struck the hand of a United player and forced referee Chris Penso to point to the penalty spot.
Chavez emerged as the player to step up to take the penalty kick, and tossing the pressure aside, the forward easily placed the ball into the right side of the net to make the score 1-1 and earn an important draw for the home side.