ATLANTA — The Atlanta Silverbacks have started assembling their roster for the 2013 season, exercising options on 11 players, the club announced Monday. Central grad Borfor Carr and Grayson grad Eric Ati will be among those returning to the team.
Goalkeepers Daniel Illyes, Ati, and Joe Nasco, defenders Martyn Lancaster, Willie Hunt, Shane Moroney and Chris Klute, midfielders Lucas Paulini, Carr and Danny Barrera, and forward Pedro Mendes have all had their options exercised by the Silverbacks.
“Retaining such a fantastic group of players is a great first step for us as we prepare for the 2013 season,” said Silverbacks head coach Brian Haynes. “We’ll continue to add the right pieces to the puzzle as the offseason continues, and we look forward to putting a quality product onto the field next season.”
All 11 players played integral roles in the Silverbacks’ late-season turnaround in 2012, helping the team finish with the league’s best record over the final nine games. The Silverbacks’ strong run at the end of the season was highlighted by an undefeated record in September (3-2-0).
Mendes, who only appeared in nine games for the Silverbacks after signing in July, was third on the team in goals with four. He turned in a two-goal performance in a 4-2 home win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in August, earning him NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Another notable returner is defender and team captain Martyn Lancaster, who will suit up for his fourth season with the Silverbacks. The 31-year-old Englishman appeared in a team-high 25 games last season, and helped anchor a defense that only conceded four goals over the final eight games.
The Silverbacks also announced on Monday that they have parted ways with a pair of players, declining the options on defender Patrick Robertson and forward Reinaldo Navia.
Navia appeared in 17 games last season, tallying five of his six total goals within the first four games of the season, while Robertson appeared in 14 games in his second year with the club.
The club is still currently in talks with a number of players from last season and will announce any agreements reached with those players as they’re finalized.
Haynes and his coaching staff have already begun their offseason player evaluations and will hold their first tryout in Lancashire, England, in early December.