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Atlanta Silverbacks slam Chattanooga Football Club


Speed kills. So does talent.

When both were combined on the pitch Wednesday night, it was too much for the Chattanooga Football Club to overcome.

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League strung together a pretty workmanlike 5-0 victory over the hosts in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup in front of 4,058 fans at Finley Stadium. With the win, the Silverbacks advance to the next round, where they will host Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer.

Chattanooga returns to the pitch Saturday when they travel to face the Knoxville Force.

CFC (3-2-1) had become the first amateur team to win an Open Cup match on May 14 when they defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads of the United States Professional League. The Silverbacks -- coached by international soccer legend Eric Wynalda -- posed a much more potent challenge with their speed and technical skill at all levels of the field. If the hosts made a mistake, the visitors capitalized on it. Meanwhile, the chances created by CFC were few and far between.

"Atlanta, in theory, should be a step ahead of Wilmington," CFC coach Bill Elliott said. "It was evident five minutes into the game that they were, but we still felt like if something could go early in the gmae, we could have hung around and made it interesting. But the ball didn't bounce right for us early -- in fact, in four of their five goals, I hadn't seen a goal like that in three years. They struck with power and precision.