Silverbacks Come Up Short In Title Game
On balance, by most standards, the 2013 North American Soccer League season was a success for the Atlanta Silverbacks. And a failure.
In the new split-season format for the league, the Silverbacks won the spring season and earned the right to host the season-ending Soccer Bowl championship against the fall season champion.
The game, at Atlanta Siverbacks Park, drew a crowd of 7,211 that watched the home team take a narrow 1-0 loss against the New York Cosmos.
The second-place finish was a huge improvement from seasons past when the Silverbacks failed to make postseason play.
The league recognized that improvement and named Atlanta head coach Brian Haynes the NASL Coach of the Year. However, the second-half slump and failure to beat the Cosmos cost him his job.
If there are questions in the postmortum of the 2013 NASL season, it would have to center around the split-season format. Did it work? Did it accomplish what it was intended to do?
The team with the best two-season record, the Carolina RailHawks, second in both halves of the season, didn’t qualify for the championship game.
But the split season did make for excitement as each of the half-seasons drew to a conclusion.
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