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New-look Silverbacks make 2014 home debut Saturday
by Maurice Dixon
April 16, 2014 01:03 PM | 5410 views | 0 0 comments | 245 245 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye /
Mike Randolph tries to keep possession of the ball during practice.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Mike Randolph tries to keep possession of the ball during practice.
With eight new players and Eric Wynalda as the new manager, the Atlanta Silverbacks are hoping to repeat as National American Soccer League spring champions.

Forward David Estrada and goaltender Derby Carrillo are two of the new faces on the roster.

“I just want to make a difference when I’m on the field,” said Estrada, who is on loan from the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. “I’ve been in the MLS for four years but I just want to bring my experience and help anyway I can to get a good result.”

“I’m very happy to be here,” Carrillo said. “Atlanta has definitely received me with open arms. I know the team has lots of goals on their mind which is repeating as champions from the spring. Hopefully we can do that.”

Last season, Wynalda served as technical director and interim coach. He will continue to occupy the role of technical director this season.

“Not to speak negatively about last year’s team but there were a lot of strong personalities,” Wynalda said. “Some of them didn’t get along and some were very disruptive but none of those guys are here anymore.

“The group that we put together in my opinion just seems to be a bunch of guys who have just jelled together,” Wynalda said. “They like being around each other. Hopefully, that comes through in our play and we can be the team I think we can become.”

Even though it is months away, the Silverbacks also hope to redeem themselves from last year’s setback in the Soccer Bowl.

“That is something that we have on our mind,” Carrillo said.

“We know it’s going to take a lot of team effort and sacrifice so we got to make sure we are bringing it every game, every practice.

“We got to make sure that we are here focused and ready to give 110 percent.”

“My job is give them the confidence to believe in themselves -- that they can do this,” Wynalda said.

The Silverbacks lost their rematch of the Soccer Bowl against the New York Cosmos on Sunday. This Saturday, the Silverbacks will host San Antonio in their home opener.

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