Silverbacks Bring Back Familiar Face in Forward Matt Horth
Photo courtesy: Rob Kinnan
Atlanta (GA) – In his first signing since taking over the managerial duties earlier this month, Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda has brought back a familiar face. On Monday, the Silverbacks announced the signing of forward Matt Horth, pending USSF approval, bringing back the player that led the club in scoring in 2011 and 2012.
After getting off to a slow start in 2012, Horth flourished under the guidance of Wynalda, who at the time was filling the role as the Silverbacks’ interim head coach. He scored 10 goals for the Silverbacks during the second half of the 2012 season, using the advice of Wynalda, a former U.S. Men’s National Team striker, to become one of the hottest goalscorers in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
“We’re really looking forward to working with Matt again. He’s a phenomenal finisher, but that isn’t the only thing he brings to the team – he’s also a great person,” said Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda. “We’re reloading at a number of positions, so to get a player like Matt to fill one of our attacking roles is fantastic. I know his capabilities well and I know exactly what to expect from him, so I’m thrilled to have him back.”
Horth, 24, returns to Atlanta after spending a year under contract with Major League Soccer (MLS) side New England Revolution. The Akron, Ohio native spent most of the 2013 season on loan at USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos, who acquired him through their affiliation with the Revolution. Before and after his loan stint in Rochester, Horth spent significant time with the Revolution, however, he did not see MLS regular season action.
“Ever since I left Atlanta, I’ve always maintained that I would like to return one day, so it’s an absolute pleasure to be with the club again,” Horth said. “Eric has been speaking to me about the club’s ambitions moving forward, and I’m just excited to be a part of that and excited to have the opportunity to play for a great manager like him.”
Scoring 18 goals in 49 league appearances for the Silverbacks, Horth was a fan favorite in Atlanta from 2011-2012. A tall forward known for his finishing abilities around the goal, Horth was recognized multiple times by the NASL with Player of the Week and Player of the Month honors. He scored the club’s first ever NASL goal as well as the club’s first goal under Eric Wynalda’s leadership.
“Anyone that has met Matt knows that he is the consummate professional and one of the nicest guys in the game,” said Silverbacks President and General Manager Andy Smith. “We know exactly what he brings to the table in terms of attacking abilities and work ethic, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring him back to the place where he started his professional career.”
Horth originally joined the Silverbacks after impressing at the 2011 NASL Combine in Florida. He attended the combine immediately after concluding an illustrious collegiate career at Gordon College (Mass.). Horth tallied 36 goals and 20 assists in 74 appearances for the Fighting Scots, earning first-team all-conference honors twice. In between collegiate seasons, he also spent time with a trio of PDL teams, the Cape Cod Crusaders (2008), Southern California Seahorses (2009), and Cleveland Internationals (2010).
The 6-foot-3 forward will be in Atlanta to join his teammates for the beginning of preseason, which kicks off in late February.
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