New Coach, Same Results; Eric Wynalda’s Silverbacks Go Down in Defeat to Hot RailHawks
A coaching change can sometimes give teams a bump of confidence – some fresh air, if you will – that will spur a team on to victory. That’s what Atlanta Silverbacks fans were hoping for after Eric Wynalda was named as interim head coach to replace Alex Pineda Chacon and to pull the team out of its 1-8-5 funk.
“It’s just a matter of instilling a bit of belief in these guys that they can play this game,” Wynalda told Neil Morris of the Independent Weekly at a press conference, hours before the match. “They can win games, and they’re a good team. They just need to act like one.”
That dream, that hope, was perhaps a bit too lofty, With their new head coach missing his original flight to Cary, N.C., Wynalda was unable to conduct a training session with his new team but could only meet the players of the Silverbacks the day before the match. So it was no surprise that Atlanta took their 9th loss of the season in a double weather-delay game against the resurgent Carolina RailHawks by a score of 2-1 with a brace from Nick Zimmerman.
Carolina got off the mark with a quick goal in just the 4th minute of play. Jason Garey found Zimmerman who beat Atlanta goalkeeper Daniel Illyes.
To Atlanta’s credit the goal seemed to spur the Silverbacks into action as they soon took the run of play resulting in a goal in the 15th minute when Borfor Carr played a square pass deep inside Carolina’s box. Matt Horth gave the ball a deft touch while making a run to the near post. The redirect was enough to squeeze the ball past a diving Ray Burse and give the Silverbacks an equalizer.
Soon after, the referees stopped the game due to severe weather with lighting striking near WakeMed Soccer Park. It would be the first of two delays tallying 113 minutes.
The start and stop of the delays certainly threw both teams off but it was Carolina who soon stepped on the gas again and in the 50th minute Zimmerman scored his brace and became the top goal scorer in the NASL with 9 total on the season. Defender Cory Elenio laid a perfect cross into Zimmerman that he nodded in for the game winner.
The RailHawks outshot the Silverbacks 21 to 8, forcing Illyes into 8 saves.
The streaking RailHawks get to stay put as they play again at WakeMed on Saturday night against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Wynalda’s Silverbacks will make the quick trip back to Atlanta before heading out on the road again to play in Minnesota Saturday night against the Stars.