MOBA to Play Friendly Against NPSL Side Atlanta Silverbacks
All around the world, no matter where you look, you are bound to be able to find a soccer club somewhere. From right here in Peachtree City, to big cities like Manchester and Munich, to small towns like Bourg-en-Bresse and Jerrabomberra, soccer is everywhere, and it is that expansiveness that gives the sport such a widespread influence. The vast number of teams allows for cities to meet in ways they never would have otherwise been able to, leading to a growth and comradery that is second-to-none. Following an enjoyable 2016 season that saw Peachtree City MOBA take on teams from Clinton, Mississippi to Forest Hill, West Virginia, MOBA will take on their biggest name yet, the city of Atlanta.
On March 23, Peachtree City MOBA and the Atlanta Silverbacks announced they have scheduled a friendly for May 24, 2017 at MOBA Soccer Stadium. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in history. Playing in the National Premier Soccer League, the Silverbacks are one of the most storied soccer organizations in Atlanta. Founded in 1994, the team began play as the Atlanta Ruckus in the USL A-League. Between 1995 and 1998, the team changed owners several times, including a stint where the team was controlled by the league itself. In 1998, the team announced they planned to rebrand the team as the Atlanta Silverbacks in honor of Willie B., the famous silverback gorilla at Zoo Atlanta. Over the next ten years, the Silverbacks experienced little success, as they switched head coaches seven times and missed the playoffs for six straight years. In 2009, the team announced they were leaving the USL First Division to become co-founders of the new North American Soccer League. Complications with sanctioning resulted in the team's delayed entry into the league, but in 2011, the Atlanta Silverbacks officially became a part of the league.
Following the change to a new league, the team experienced a turnaround in fortunes, including winning the 2013 NASL spring title. In the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, the team knocked off two MLS teams and made it all the way to the quarterfinals before falling to Chicago Fire. After the 2014 season, the NASL rented the team name and took control of the team through 2015, however a lack of success in finding new ownership lead to the team suspending operations in 2016. The Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves took over the team name and moved into the NPSL before the 2016 season.
The friendly between Peachtree City MOBA and the Atlanta Silverbacks will be the second game played at the new MOBA Soccer Stadium, following the teams PDL home opener against Mississippi Brilla FC on May 20th. This historic battle between the two squads not only holds significance for the teams, but also for their respective leagues. The PDL and the NPSL have always had a strong rivalry as the two leagues compete for dominance in the 4th level of the American Soccer Pyramid. Both leagues have seen decent success in the U.S. Open Cup, frequently upsetting higher tier clubs from the USL, NASL, and MLS. Get your tickets now at mobasoccer.com and come be a part of Georgia soccer history!
Image Retrieved from @AtlantaSilverbacks on Instagram