Silverbacks Kick Off 2014 Season With Soccer Bowl Rematch Against New York Cosmos
The 2014 North American Soccer League Spring Season will kick off on Saturday, April 12 and among the opening weekend highlights, the Atlanta Silverbacks will visit the reigning-champion New York Cosmos in a rematch of November’s hard-fought NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 – a game the Silverbacks dropped, 1-0.
“The Silverbacks and Cosmos both experienced tremendous success last season, and when the two clubs met at Atlanta Silverbacks Park in NASL Soccer Bowl 2013, the game didn’t disappoint,” said Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda. “I can’t think of a better way to open up the 2014 season than a rematch of that championship game, and we couldn’t be more excited for the matchup.”
The shortened nine-week spring campaign will run through June 8 to allow for a mid-season break to align with the FIFA World Cup. The winner of the first half of the NASL season will qualify for and earn the right to host NASL Soccer Bowl 2014.
Virginia Cavalry FC’s decision to defer its inaugural season until 2015 means the ten clubs participating in 2014 must each play a nine-game season, with an unavoidable uneven balance between each club’s total number of home and away games. Having considered adding a tenth game and factored in several components including stadium availability, cold weather climate challenges and participation in domestic cup competitions, NASL owners agreed to the nine-week 2014 schedule.
“The owners showed short-term sacrifice in favor of consistency and respect for the global game by sticking to a one-match versus each team Spring Schedule,” said Aaron Davidson, Chairman of the NASL Board of Governors and President of Traffic Sports, ownership group of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Carolina RailHawks. “We analyzed and understand the consequential imbalance of home games in the spring, but felt that it was more important to ensure the balance of the competition with everyone playing each other once rather than adding a random tenth match.”
“The fact is that our Spring 2014 season will be one of the most intense and competitive competitions in global sport with nine matches determining the spring champion and host of NASL Soccer Bowl 2014. The coaches and players know that they can’t play for draws whether they are playing away or at home because winning the championship will likely come down to one or two points. I’m excited to see our teams leave it all out on the field in this sprint to the Spring Championship ahead of the World Cup break.”
The Silverbacks are one of the clubs with only four Spring Season home games, with the home opener in Atlanta set for Saturday, April 19 against the San Antonio Scorpions. Here is a full list of the Silverbacks’ four Spring Season home games:
-Saturday, April 19 vs. San Antonio Scorpions – 7:30 p.m.
-Saturday, May 3 vs. Ottawa Fury FC – 7:30 p.m.
-Saturday, May 31 vs. Minnesota United FC – 7:30 p.m.
-Saturday, June 7 vs. Indy Eleven – 7:30 p.m.
“Of course we would we like to play a fifth home game in the spring, but we will play the schedule that is given to us, and the road games are just a challenge that we look forward to,” Wynalda said. “In the end, the game comes down to the two teams on the field, so we just need to get our team ready whether we’re at home or on the road.”
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