ATLANTA -- Central grad Borfor Carr came to the Silverbacks early this year and has seen all of the almost wins and losing streaks up close. With a team full of newcomers under interim coach Eric Wynalda, he is one player who has stayed on the field despite the influx of new talent.
On Saturday, Carr's persistence paid off with a game-winner.
In the 64th minute, Carr received a pass from Nico Colaluca and bent a 20-yard shot into the left corner of the goal, putting the Silverbacks on top for good in a 4-2 victory over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Assistant coach Brian Haynes, leading Atlanta (4-5-11, 14 points) Saturday with Wynalda away fulfilling duties with Fox Soccer, gave Carr the captain's armband after Martyn Lancaster had to go off at halftime due to an injury.
"(The goal) came at the right time. We needed it," Carr said. "I guess Brian knew what he was doing. He wanted a machine in the midfield. Just giving me that let me know, 'I need you to work and I need you to be a leader.'"
Haynes was proud to see the team come together for another win, especially with so many guys getting a chance after playing for Wynalda at Cal FC.
"It's good plans coming together," Wilson said. "Eric and I talked about this the night after (the 5-3 loss to the Strikers last week), what we need to do to play against this team. They have a very good core of offensive players. What we decided is, to heck with it. Let them beat us with their defense by pushing off with the ball. We did exactly that, and the boys countered and got their goals."
Pedro Mendes, one of the former Cal FC players, put Atlanta up first in the eighth minute. His twin brother, Paulo Mendes, sent a cross in from the left side, and Pedro headed the ball past goalkeeper Matt Glaeser for a 1-0 lead. Pedro added an insurance goal for Atlanta in the 78th minute.
"We knew what we had to do this game," Pedro Mendes said. "(Paulo and I) work well. We know where we are on the field. We've got that chemistry of growing up together."
It was the first time professionally that the two brothers have connected for a goal.
"We always play together. It feels great," Paulo Mendes said.
Scott Gordon put Fort Lauderdale (7-6-8, 27 points) on the board in the 26th minute. But just three minutes later, Atlanta countered with a score by Matt Horth on an assist by newcomer Mike Randolph.
"I'm glad someone got on the end of that cross," Randolph said. "The guys have been unfortunate in the first half of the season. From the part when I got here, I can tell they're a good team. They have the potential to win. We just had to tweak some things."
Matt Anderson brought the Strikers level again with a goal in the 54th minute with an assist from Gordon. But 10 minutes later, Carr's score put Atlanta ahead for good.