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Virginia Beach vs Atlanta game preview

June 21, 2005 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

MARINERS RETURN TO THE SPORTSPLEX FIELD ON FRIDAY NIGHT AGAINST ATLANTA AT 8 P.M. It's "Half Price Night" - All tickets $5 Hot Dogs and Soft Drinks are $1 at D'Mustard Concession Stands

Virginia Beach, Virginia - After a three-week regular season break, the Virginia Beach Mariners will return to the Sportsplex field on Friday night at 8 p.m. against the Atlanta Silverbacks. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. The two teams met on April 17 with Atlanta coming out on top 2-0.

As a special gift to our fans, it's "Half Price Night" -- all tickets are $5. Also, $1 hot dogs and $1 soft drinks will be on sale courtesy of D'Mustard, one of the Mariners' concessionaires. And we ask all fans to come with bells on. Bring any bell you can find and help the Mariners ring in the second half of the season.

Another major attraction at the Sportsplex on Friday night will be U.S. National Women's Team members Angela Hucles and Cat Riddick. Both players will be signing autographs during the game on the concourse. The U.S. Women's National Team is in town to take on Canada on Sunday, June 26 at 3 p.m. at the Sportsplex. The match will be televised live.on ESPN2. Tickets are available by calling 430-9800.

The Match Up Virginia Beach (1-8-4) The Mariners have taken advantage of the time off. The injuries to key players have had a chance to heal including Jeff Bilyk's high ankle sprain and Russell Hutchison's back injury. Both starters have been out for over a month and both are expected to take the field on Friday.

Newcomers, forward John Barry Nusum (who played for Atlanta in 2003) and defender Ptah Myers, have had a chance to blend in with the team during training. Both players joined the team immediately before its three-game road swing to the West Coast May 25-28. Both should start on Friday.

Midfielder Darren Caskey continues to lead the Mariners in scoring with nine points in 11 games which ranks him ninth in the USL First Division. Caskey is followed closely by forward David Castellanos who ranks 12th in the Division with seven points in 13 games. Caskey also ranks ninth in goals scored with four. Goalkeeper Matt Nelson ranks 10th in the Division in saves with 27 in 13 matches.

Atlanta (4-5-3) Atlanta started strong this season, going undefeated in four of their first six matches. But the Silverbacks have only won one of their last seven matches going 1-4-2 since May 21. Atlanta's leading scorer is forward Fabian Dawkins with 12 points in 11 games. He also ranks sixth in goals scored with six. Rodrigo Rios-Rodriguez ranks third in the Division in assists with four in ten matches followed by Kristopher Stone whose three assists in nine games ranks him ninth. Goalkeeper Christian Fegler ranks ninth in the league in wins with three in ten matches and fourth in shutouts (3). He also ranks second in the Division in saves with 51.

Team News The Mariners will host the Richmond Kickers one more time this season but this time it's the PDL Richmond Kickers Future. The two teams will match up in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex. The Future advanced with a 3-0 win over the Baltimore Colts (USASA) in the first round. The winner of this second round match will travel to Rochester on July 13 to face the Rhinos at 7:30 p.m. in round three. Ticket prices will be announced the end of this week.

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