Silverbacks' O'Brien named NASL Player of the Week


Ciaran O'Brien

ATLANTA — Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder Ciaran O’Brien has been named North American Soccer League Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon.

O’Brien, a native of Federal Way, Wash., played a big part in the Silverbacks' 2-1 road win over FC Edmonton on Sunday, scoring one goal and assisting on another. The 24-year-old midfielder converted a bending, 20-yard free kick in the 31st minute and followed it up ten minutes later by setting up defender Shane Moroney for the Silverbacks’ second goal. It was the second time in three games that O’Brien has connected with Moroney for a goal.

“It’s always an honor when you get recognized by the league for your accomplishments,” O’Brien said. “It feels good, but what feels even better is the fact that we were able to get the win and bring three points back to Atlanta.”

Sunday’s win in Edmonton represented the Silverbacks’ first of the season, putting them even with FC Edmonton and the Carolina RailHawks at eight points in the NASL standings. The Silverbacks earned the win despite missing several key players on Sunday, something that encourages O’Brien.

“Between all of the recent travel and some of the injuries we’ve had to deal with as a team, we really needed to rise to the occasion on Sunday,” O’Brien said. “I really feel that we did that, and I’m proud of the team for staying focused and getting the result.”

O’Brien’s assist on Sunday tied him with Puerto Rico Islanders forward Jonathan Faña and Fort Lauderdale Strikers midfielder Walter Restrepo for the league lead in assists with four.

It is the second time O’Brien has been named NASL Offensive Player of the Week since joining the Silverbacks in 2011. He was recognized with the award last July after posting three goals and an assist in one week.

The Silverbacks will look to keep their momentum going this Saturday as they travel to Heroes Stadium in San Antonio to take on the Scorpions at 8:45 p.m. The Silverbacks will then return home on June 16 to host the Carolina RailHawks on Fan Appreciation Night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.