Atlanta, GA (June 12th, 2018) – The Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club continues its 2018 NPSL campaign Wednesday night at 8:00 PM EST (7:00 PM CT) as they visit the New Orleans Jesters at Pan-American Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.
New Orleans Jesters
Atlanta’s recent history with the green and purple from the Gulf Coast has not been a pretty one: 0-3 in 2017, including an especially frustrating and hard fought loss in the NPSL Southeast Semifinals at Pan-American. That said, most teams in the league have a problem with the Jesters.
New Orleans finished the 2017 season unbeaten, earning 8 wins, 4 draws and zero losses. They hosted the four conference semifinalists at Pan-American stadium in July. As mentioned, the hosts defeated Atlanta 1-0 and Inter Nashville FC defeated Emerald Force SC 2-1. Inter Nashville went on to shutout the previously unbeaten Jesters 3-0 and make a run to the regional finals.
New Orleans is off to a hot start yet again in 2018, currently holding a record of 4 wins, one draw, and 2 losses.
The Jesters have continued their brilliant play in 2018. They have accumulated a 4-1-2 record on just three home matches. New Orleans have a record of 2-0-1 at home this season, only falling to expansion side Greenville FC 2-1 on May 19th. Since then, the Jesters have claimed 10 of a possible 15 points over a five match span. The only struggles coming in a 2-2 draw against fellow heavyweight Chattanooga FC and a 1-0 road loss to Emerald Force SC. New Orleans returns to Pan-American for the first time since June 2nd on Wednesday night.
The early-season success can be attributed to the blistering pace of Jesters forward Thomas Peers. He leads the league in scoring with seven goals on the season and is showing no signs of slowing down. Hisham Kasimu has tallied four goals on the season, as well as Oliver Roberts and Mason Walsh notching two apiece. The Jesters’ 2.14 goals scored per game is tied for second highest with Atlanta in the league (Nashville 2.17). Slowing this attack, spearheaded by Peers, will be a tough task for Atlanta on the road.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans backline has given up an average of one goal per game on the season and has not surrendered more than one goal since May 26th.
Their 1.00 goal allowed per game in second-lowest in the league (Chattanooga 0.83). On their current four-match unbeaten streak, Atlanta has scored 2.75 goals per game. The ‘Backs have earned a 2-1-1 record on the road this season, not having lost away from home since May 19th.
There are brief chances of rain throughout Tuesday and Wednesday in the New Orleans area, but the forecast is clear for Wednesday evening’s match.
Player to Watch: Brian Pretel Plata
Given the red card issued to forward ‘Keka’ Kamara in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Inter Nashville FC, Atlanta will have to shuffle their lineup in this match as well as Saturday’s home match against Greenville FC. Expect to see a mix of fresh faces combined with veterans like Joao, Sheriff Suma, and Abraham Lansana. I am keeping my eye on the speedy Brian Pretel Plata. He has spent time in the back line, but most recently appeared in the latter stages of the Inter Nashville match as a forward. Down a man, Coach Neves left Plata as the lone attacker and this nearly earned Atlanta the three points when a two-on-one chance nearly gave Plata a clear chance against the goalkeeper. Look for his speed and fresh legs at this point of the season to make life difficult on the Jesters’ back line.
New Orleans, LA
It’s not like anyone needs help finding fun in the Big Easy, but we put together a guide anyway for all the ‘Backs fans making the trip to New Orleans.
The best place to grab a pre-match drink?
Bourbon Street – This one seems kind of obvious for all of us lowly out-of-towners. Not sure the craziness factor will be at an all-time high before or after the match on a mid-June Wednesday night. Still may be worth a try!
Second Line Brewing / ( 7 minutes from Pan-American Stadium ) – For an option closer to Wednesday’s match and away from the bustle of downtown, Second Line Brewing offers a variety of their own brews on tap as well as a beer garden outdoor space open from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM local time.
Best options for dinner?
Coop’s Place / ( 16 minutes from Pan-American Stadium ) – If you are looking for a pristine Cajun dining experience, maybe go elsewhere. Coop’s is a small hole-in-the-wall that wastes no time with pleasantries. While you may be shocked and awed by what you hear, you’ll forget it all when you taste the authentic, local menu. The creole-inspired dishes are superb, but Coop’s is known for its fried chicken.
Bevi Seafood Company / ( 7 minutes from Pan-American Stadium ) – For an option closer to the match, check out Bevi Seafood Company in Mid-City. Bevi offers the freshest crawfish, oysters, and other seafood you can find in NOLA, as well as hot po’ boys.
Unique spot or landmark that not all traveling fans would know about?
Jackson Square / ( 18 minutes from Pan-American Stadium ) – This may not be an unknown secret, but Jackson Square is the hub of the busy French Quarter. The bustle of street performers, merchants, and beignet sales is overshadowed by the Andrew Jackson statue and towering St. Louis Cathedral.
Louis Armstrong Park / ( 13 minutes from Pan-American Stadium ) – Just beyond downtown and the French Quarter, you’ll find a more subdued Louis Armstrong Park. Home to both the Municipal Auditorium and the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, this park is a tribute to Louis Armstrong and other countless musicians that established New Orleans as a capital of jazz.
City Park – While Pan-American Stadium sits in the City Park, its hardly the only notable establishment. Just south of I-610 in the Park, you can find: the New Orleans Museum of Art, countless gardens, a conservatory, an amusement park, and the New Orleans Historic Train Garden.
If you cannot make the trip, stay tuned to all Silverbacks social media platforms for match updates. Live stream information will be shared as it becomes available.