FC Tampa Bay at Atlanta Silverbacks
Saturday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, Georgia
The match can be seen live online at www.fctampabay.com
FC Tampa Bay: 5-6-5, 21 points
Atlanta: 2-3-11, 9 points
2011 Series (W-T-L): FC Tampa Bay leads 1-1-0
FC Tampa Bay travels to the Atlanta Silverbacks Park for the first time as the teams meet for the third time this season. In the first head-to-head on April 30, FCTB forward Mike Ambersley scored a pivotal second half goal to tie the match 1-1 after Silverbacks defender Willie Hunt found the back of the net just before the end of the first half off a free kick from Mario Perez. Rookie goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made his professional debut in the match, replacing an injured Daryl Sattler (knee) in the 10th minute. Attinella has started every match since because of Sattler's season-ending injury.
In the second meeting, FC Tampa Bay prevailed 3-2 with an 86th minute goal by forward Aaron King at Al Lang Stadium on June 12. Ambersley was named NASL Offensive Player of the Week for his two-goal performance.
The Atlanta Silverbacks are in eighth place in the North American Soccer League standings with only nine points in 16 matches played this season. The Silverbacks have allowed 35 goals, the most in the league this year. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has the fourth-most saves in the league with 53.
What’s at Stake:
FC Tampa Bay ends a two-match road trip with Saturday’s game against Atlanta. FCTB is currently undefeated in a season-high four matches and has also earned points in three consecutive road matches. The team defeated FC Edmonton 2-1 on Sunday at Foote Field under the direction of assistant coach David Hayes, as head coach Ricky Hill missed the match because of a death in the family. Hill will also miss Saturday's match at Atlanta and Hayes will handle head coaching duties once again in his place.
FC Tampa Bay defender Andres Arango was named the NASL Defender of the Week on Monday, marking the team’s fifth player to receive a weekly honor this season. Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler was named NASL Defender of the Week on April 25 following a scoreless draw at Montreal and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was selected NASL Defender of the Week on May 24 after FCTB’s 3-0 victory over Montreal. Forward Mike Ambersley was named NASL Offensive Player of the Week on June 13 following his two-goal performance against the Silverbacks on June 12, while midfielder Pascal Millien received the award after posting a goal and two assists against Fort Lauderdale on July 4.
Atlanta and Montreal played to a 2-2 tie on Sunday night. Silverbacks forward Matt Horth scored both goals for the team and was named the NASL Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, July 18.
Ambersley and Hunt have each scored in both of the first two matches between the teams this season. Ambersley has totaled three goals in the two matches, while Hunt scored one goal in each contest.
FC Tampa Bay defender and captain Frankie Sanfilippo will miss Saturday’ s game at Atlanta after suffering dehydration symptoms at Thursday’s practice at Shimberg Fields. Sanfilippo spent Thursday night in a Tampa hospital for observation. Midfielder Chad Burt, who has missed the last seven league matches, is doubtful with a foot injury.
FC Tampa Bay heads home to host FC Edmonton on Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m.