The World's Game In The Heart of the Sun Belt

A big weekend for women’s soccer in Atlanta

The Atlanta Beat is still looking for its first win in Women’s Professional Soccer, and getting it against the Washington Freedom (6 p.m., KSU Soccer Stadium, Fox Soccer Channel) is no small task.

Beat goalkeeper Brett Maron, profiled here by former USA Today soccer writer Beau Dure, appreciates the opportunity to compete at the WPS level after playing in the Icelandic ranks, where she met Beat coach Gareth O’Sullivan.

Maron also appreciates the environment in Atlanta that makes it comfortable for her to be openly gay.

The Atlanta Silverbacks women begin their W-League season at 7:30 tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium.

Creative Loafing previews a team that reached the semifinals in 2009 and is aiming for more.

On the men’s side, the Atlanta Blackhawks of the PDSL play host to Nashville at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Alpharetta High School in their home opener.

May 15, 2010   No Comments

On the Beat, scouting for experienced players

The Women’s Professional Soccer college draft isn’t until January, so Atlanta Beat coach Gareth O’Sullivan and his rivals were busy looking over W-League prospects this weekend at that league’s scouting combine in Tampa.

The women’s amateur league that includes the Atlanta Silverbacks had 35 of its players drafted into the WPS a year ago. While those numbers won’t be the same, O’Sullivan said he was looking ideally for two or three players to help stock his expansion club:

The W-League has girls in it that have got a couple years experience, that have been able to, maybe, mature a little bit, get that experience. And I think that’s important. When you weigh up a collegiate player against a girl that has a couple years W-League experience, you’re usually, probably, gonna go with the girl from the W-League.

Kimmie Germain would love to be one of those girls. The daughter of former Atlanta Chiefs player Kip Germain recorded a video for the USL site as she talked about trying to impress the scouts. Her mother played for the U.S. national team in the mid-1980s, so her soccer pedigree is rather strong: “I think they are looking for something special.”

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Heartbreak for NASA boys, Silverbacks women

Goals near the end of either half sunk the North Atlanta Soccer Association’s Under 19 boys aspirations of a national championship Sunday as the Baltimore Casa Mia Bays claimed a 2-0 victory in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association’s national championships.

And on Friday, the Atlanta Silverbacks women’s playoff hopes came to a controversial end when Charlotte was awarded a late penalty kick to tie the game, then got the winning goal moments later it for a 2-1 win in the W-League Eastern Conference semifinals.

July 27, 2009   No Comments

A big weekend for Silverbacks women

The Atlanta Silverbacks women will play host this weekend to the first round of the W-League Eastern Conference playoffs.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, the Washington Freedom plays Tampa Bay Hellenic, followed by the Silverbacks vs. the Charlotte Lady Eagles at 7:30 p.m. The finals will take place on Saturday, also at 7:30 p.m. All games will take place at Silverbacks Park.

Tickets are $10 a person for each day, with that admission price on Friday good for both games. The Silverbacks women have a cash-only ticket policy. Here’s more information about group tickets.

It’s the first stage of the postseason for the W-League. The Silverbacks earned the host’s role by virtue of winning the Atlantic Division with a record of 12-10-1-1 and 32 points.

Here’s how the rest of the playoff bracket shapes up.

July 23, 2009   No Comments

Blackhawks, Silverbacks close out home schedules

Crunch time for two of Atlanta’s three developmental level soccer teams comes this weekend as the Atlanta Blackhawks and the Atlanta Silverbacks play their regular season home finales.

The Atlanta Blackhawks of the Professional Developmental League play host to the Missisippi Brilla Friday at 7 p.m. at Alpharetta High School. The Blackhawks are 2-8-1 with 12 points in the Southeast Division of the PDL, which is in the United Soccer Leagues umbrella.

Atlanta knocked off division-leading Bradenton last weekend and has the chance to play the role of spoiler again with Mississippi chasing a post-season berth.

After the game fans are invited to join team members and coaches at Jeffrey’s Sports Bar and Grill, 11585 Jones Bridge Road, Alpharetta.

Also on Friday, the Silverbacks women of the USL’s W-League will attempt to secure the Atlantic Division crown against the Charlotte Lady Eagles. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Silverbacks Park. The Silverbacks are 9-8-1 with 24 points, four clear of Tampa Bay, with three regular season games remaining.

On Saturday, Atlanta FC of the National Premier Soccer League plays at Pumas FC.

Like PDL, the NPSL is a developmental circuit that is affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association. Atlanta FC and Pumas are locked in a three-way battle for second place in the Southeast Division with Chattanooga FC.

July 9, 2009   No Comments