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USA U-23s to play Silverbacks in closed-door scrimmage


photo by Rick Yeatts/

The U.S. Under-23 men's national team is just over a week away from opening its Olympic qualifying campaign, and it will prepare for that with a game against the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Caleb Porter's side will take on Atlanta in a closed-door scrimmage on March 18 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., the SIlverbacks announced on Tuesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT.

The United States is no stranger to playing NASL clubs. Last month, the Americans defeated the San Antonio Scorpions, 3-0, in a scrimmage.

The U.S. team begins its Olympic qualifying campaign on March 22 with a game versus Cuba.

What do you think of the U.S. U-23 team playing Atlanta before qualifying?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Atlanta Silverbacks: that has to be the worst name/logo combination in US soccer history. And I’m including the Minnesota Kicks and that one team in Colorado…

  2. Who cares? Plainly the US does because it’s closed doors when they could probably make a few bucks off a negotiated share of ticket sales with Atlanta.

    Fair point about Mexico except this is a fuller-staffed team and we might be trying formations and tactics we’ve worked on in practice. Every little edge helps IMO.

  3. yeah, but they seemed to press really well and Mixx was winning balls all night against Mexico. i still would like to have Morales, but that’s up in the air. and again, this is only for this game. this is by no means the starting XI i would put out there for qualifying.

  4. i agree. Morales would still be the best option. he has both qualities. a midfield of Adu, Mixx and Corona, i believe, will do just fine. but none of them are known for their defensive abilities.

  5. i will say, i couldn’t remember if Gatt plays on the right. or which side Valentin and Sarkodie play on.

    but with Corona, he starts every week in Mexico while Okugo sits on the bench in Philly. for now, it has to be Joe.

  6. no way, Coronoa starts over Okugo if i’m coach. he was a beast against mexico. valentin in gatts place could be just fine, but he and sarkodie didn’t look all that great against mexico. not that i think gatt would be much better, but i’d like to see him out there for this game.

    as for gyau and shea, i liked gyau on the left against mexico. shea can play on the right, cut in and shoot with his left.

  7. Who gives a hoot if the Canadians and Cubans are watching. Have to think if they were interested they would have watched the Mexico game. IMHO the value of getting the team back together and playing a scrimmage is worth more especially with getting Gatt some time in with the team. I can’t see Gatt as a LB. My only worry with this team is the back line. Best of luck to the boys.

  8. Am I the only one seeing an issue in Atlanta announcing a “closed-door” scrimmage with the US U23s? I noticed the US didn’t announce it. That fans and foreign scouts alike could now find the nearby hills and a pair of binoculars would seem to defeat some of the point in a no-media, no-admission training game whose whole concept would seem to be testing players and formations without the pressure and/or scouting opportunity provided when a game is subject to outside scrutiny.

    It’s not quite announcing yourself as “The CIA’s Preferred Burst Transmission Provider” or whatever, but announcing a closed door scrimmage days before it’s scheduled to happen seems at odds with the concept. It’s usually something discussed after the fact in hushed tones. Because if people can watch from a nearby hill and tell the Canadians and Cubans and everyone else online that we’re playing a 433 with x, y, and z in these positions and hoooboy they better watch out for player c who had a great game, why was it closed-door anyway?

  9. seriously, great way to build morale going into the upcoming season. esp for a team that gave up like 60 some goals last year.

  10. Gyau, Agudelo, Shea
    Mixx, Corona, Adu
    Gatt, Opara, Kitchen, Sarkodie

    Since Boyd is getting there late, I say Agudelo for this game.

  11. Well… looks like they’ve added a fence since I skipped town (admittedly a while ago). Still, there’s a big hill by the nicer field, and if they play on the practice field, you could sit across the street on a hill at a church with binoculars.

  12. I’m familiar with the LU campus. Both soccer fields will be pretty hard to keep “closed door” since they’re both by major roads with no fences or walls.

  13. Score! Looks like I’ll be heading to Lipscomb next Sunday. The soccer “complex” does have a fence around it but is surrounded by a small hill and grass/sidewalks so it shouldnt be too hard to catch a glimpse of the action for anyone in the area. Much better location than last time the Senior MNT came to town and practiced at Trevecca.


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