Match Preview: Victory @ Atlanta Silverbacks
SAN FRANCISCO (June 14, 2007) -- The California Victory players barely had a chance to unpack their travel bags from this week's trip to Utah.
The USL First Division side is on the road again, heading south to play the Atlanta Silverbacks (3-4-3, 12 points, 10th place) at the RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium Saturday. The match kicks off at 4:55 PST and can be watched live on www.usllive.com.
The Victory (1-4-3, 6 points, 12th place) has put the miserable beginning to its inaugural season behind it and this weekend looks to extend a four-game unbeaten streak, stretching back to May 30.
Though the Vics face an Atlanta side who sit two places and six points above them in the First Division, the 'backs have played two extra games, making this match-up a potential point jackpot.
"Atlanta comes off a 10-0 win this week (in the US Open Cup)," noted Victory head coach Glenn Van Straatum. "I've seen them play -- they have a nice attacking style very similar to ours, so it should be a very attractive game of soccer."
The coach spoke from a very warm and sunny training session at USF this morning, weather conditions that Van Straatum hopes will prepare his team for the hot and humid Georgia weather.
He also noted that Patrick Ianni will be back in the side having returned from duty at Houston. Additionally, Jose Retiz, Mike Muñoz, Hugo Casillas and Cameron Dunn all are fit and should travel with the team.
Ryan Suarez, Luis Mira and Josh Barton are still injured and will stay home.
This weekend's match is the first of four on the road. Next week the Victory embarks on an arduous string of fixtures that will surely test the squad's depth, with four games in six days beginning at second-place Rochester on June 22 and ending with a home tie against Portland on June 28.
But Van Straatum is pleased with the team's progress this season and is looking forward to the testing week ahead.
"The direction the team is going in is always very important, and we are going in a positive direction," he said. "We continue to raise the bar every game."
The Victory beat PDL team BYU Cougars 2-1 Tuesday in the first round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, with Raul Palomares netting his first of the season and Yuri Morales his third. The next cup game is against Minnesota Thunder on June 26.
Morales has scored the Victory's last two league goals, one in the 1-1 tie with Charleston and another in the 1-0 defeat of Vancouver.
Goalkeeper Eric Reed is looking to record his third-straight league shutout against Atlanta.
The Atlanta Silverbacks defeated amateur team Azzurri FC 10-0 in the US Open Cup Tuesday, with team captain Rodrigo Rios and forward Warren Ukah each netting hat-tricks. Their last league game was a goalless tie with the Seattle Sounders.
Forward Daniel Antoniuk leads Atlanta with three goals and four assists (10 points).
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USL First Division Stories from June 14, 2007
- Silverbacks Host California On Saturday - Atlanta Silverbacks
- Match Preview: Victory @ Atlanta Silverbacks - California Victory
- The Impact Faces The Charleston Battery Friday - Montreal Impact
- Friday Night Football and a Sunday Benefit Match - Seattle Sounders
- Miami Fc Returns To Usl Action Playing The Minnesota Thunder On Saturday - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
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