Atlético Silverlake’s first team was once again victorious in the Battle for Silverlake. In what was the certainly the most highly attended game by both players and fans, “La Rivalidad” did not disappoint. An entertaining and frustrating match that was played at Marshall High School, in the heart of Silverlake. Both teams had at least 5 substitution options with Atlético having extreme depth in all positions, including two goal keeper options, making for a true embarrassment of riches. This game would find Atlético OG Tomas Pais between the sticks, covering for our new signing Humberto Lepelech, whose served as our keeper for the majority of games up until this point.
The club had also been looking for the return of founding member and centerback David Greiman, who was unable to play due to a clerical error on the roster that management promises to have resolved this week. Still, our backline was solid with new signing Valentin Sauvat in the left back position, Brian Bianchetti holding down center back with Captain Ryan Farhoudi, and Atlético OG Jovanny in his usual role as right back. In front of Jovanny, Peche Zavarce started on the right wing, with the holy trinity of Tal Fogelman, Beto Costa and Kenn Taylor mixing it up in the midfield. Graham Fink, our club’s usual defensive magician would actually start up top for this fixture and came close to finishing several beautiful headers before being relieved by Alex Roe, last years Golden Boot winner. Rapha Henriquez would round out the squad on the left wing with his usual flair for precision, long distance strikes.
As our club matures, it was nice to see players supporting each other, regardless of their personal time on the field – although in true Atlético fashion, each member got to express themselves in this very important game. Important for our club’s ego, but more important for our standing in the Super Metro division, as there was still not quite enough daylight between us and dreaded relegation zone. If you’ve followed our club you’ll know that we’ve been promoted to this division twice and relegated twice, therefore our stated goal has been simply to stay in the Super Metro for consecutive seasons. Easier said than done, we were able to eek out a win, thanks to a predator-esque goal from midfielder Kenn Taylor, and two goals from new signing Ben Grime. Grime’s second goal punished the Silverlake FC keeper for a poor clearance – Grime, with his eye on the ball had the composure and skill to navigate around the keeper and execute an explosive finish. We’re happy for Ben, who struggled in the first few games, but we never gave up hope in him and continued to boost his confidence – we’re glad that it has started to pay off for him in these last few matches.
In a game with so much on the line – both points and pride – emotions reached a zenith which resulted in Atlético’s sometimes hatchet man, Alberto Costa receiving a red card for rushing to the aid of newcomer Valentin Sauvat, the victim of a pushing match with one of the increasingly frustrated Silverlake FC players. The 2nd half saw the introduction of Austen Lee as right back, an unusual position for the winger, but was played in a top notch fashion. Atlético OG Anthony Malzone found himself in his usual roaming winger position on the right, making several key distributions to our boys up top.
In the end, it was a great game, against a a great team, whose result could’ve been different, if not for the soccer gods on our side that day.
Atlético Silverlake 3, Silverlake FC 2.