Brookwood's Willis, two others sign with Silverbacks

Brookwood grad Jahbari Willis was one of three players to sign with the Atlanta Silverbacks two weeks before the start of the season, the club announced Wednesday.

Willis, a forward, midfielder Pablo Cruz and defender Mark Bloom agreed to terms with the club, pending USSF approval.

"I'm very excited about bringing in Mark, Pablo and Jahbari, who are all very talented players," Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes said in a release. "As a coach, you always want to pick players that compliment your playing style and can come in and add competition to your team."

Bloom also has ties to the metro Atlanta area after playing in college at Berry and with the Silverbacks U-23 team.

Willis and Cruz played for the Silverbacks last season under former interim head coach Eric Wynalda and Haynes. Willis assisted on both goals in Wynalda's first win, a 2-0 victory over Minnesota Stars FC in August. His addition will help the club up front after the departure of Matt Horth to the New England Revolution. Horth scored 18 goals in two seasons for Atlanta.

"As far as Jahbari goes, he's just hungry," Haynes said. "He's so ready to hit the field this season, and I can't wait to see him go to work."

Cruz, a former U-17 player for the U.S., played for Wynalda at Cal FC during the team's run in the U.S. Open Cup last year.

The re-signing of Willis again gives the Silverbacks three Gwinnett products, joining Central's Borfor Carr and Grayson's Eric Ati.