Silverbacks split weekend road trip

The Atlanta Silverbacks managed to pick up three points in a weekend road trip by splitting games with the Puerto Rico Islanders and Miami FC.

On Friday, Atlanta topped Puerto Rico in dramatic fashion. The Silverbacks trailed by a goal twice in the contest, but Rafique Hassim made his first start count by scoring an equalizing goal twice - once in the 39th minute and again in the 53rd minute.

In the 88th minute, Dayton O'Brien scored his first goal of the season on a one-time shot from a pass by Daniel Antoniuk. Atlanta held onto the lead for the final few minutes to collect the victory.

However, the Silverbacks dropped a 2-1 decision to Miami FC on Sunday. Antoniuk scored his third goal of the season in the fifth minute by heading the ball into the net off a corner kick.

But that was all the scoring Atlanta would muster on the night. The defense held tight in the first half, but Miami scored two goals in the second half to win.

Miami's Zinho struck a 30-yard blast low and into the corner of the net past Felipe Quintero and in the 61st minute, Sean Fraser put the game-winner in the net off a cross from Stephane Guillaume.

"I was a little disappointed with the Miami game," Silverbacks coach Jason Smith said. "I was hoping to have (Machel) Millwood back Sunday, but he still wasn't feeling good enough. We were a little depleted even with a day's rest. Rafique (Hassim) did well for us, but I think he just ran out of steam in the second half."

Atlanta (3-2-2, 11 points) is tied with Montreal for second place in the USL First Division. Both teams trail league-leading Vancouver by six points. Atlanta will travel to face the Charleston Battery on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

"We've got a whole week to get ready," Smith said.

The Silverbacks, who are 1-2-0 without Millwood, hope to have him back in the starting lineup for the Charleston game.

"The teams in this league are very close from top to bottom. It's very good and makes for exciting soccer," Smith said.