The Atlanta Silverbacks filled their first four roster spots for the 2011 season this week, signing two defenders, one midfielder, and a striker.
KOHEI MATSUSHITA, 25, is an experienced outside back who last played for Ehime FC in his home country of Japan. The Ishikawa native had been with Ehime FC since 2006 after spending three years competing on one of Japan’s most successful first-division clubs, Jubilo Iwata. The 5-foot-9 defender can play both right and left back and possesses the quickness needed to get forward down the wings.
Adding more international experience to the Silverbacks roster is Swiss defender MATTHIAS SCHNORF. The 26-year-old comes to the Silverbacks from FC Winterthur of the Challenge League, Switzerland’s second division. Schnorf, who is known for his intelligence and technical abilities as a center back, earned six caps with Switzerland’s U21 National Team.
MATT HORTH, 21, comes to Atlanta after breaking the all-time scoring record at his alma mater, Gordon College (Mass.). The 6-foot-3 striker tallied 36 goals over his four-year career at Gordon and was named to The Commonwealth Coast Conference’s First Team each year. A native of Akron, Ohio, Horth scored 15 goals in his first 18 college games, earning him TCCC Rookie of the Year honors in 2007.
The Silverbacks also got an early start in building a solid midfield by adding SHANE MORONEY, 22. The 5-foot-10 defensive midfielder recently finished a successful four-year playing career at Berry College in Rome. He played 72 games for Berry College and is the first Georgia native (Senoia) to sign with the Silverbacks for this season. He brings quickness and a hard-working mentality to the defensive midfield.
“We’re thrilled to announce the signings of these four players,” said Director of Soccer Rodrigo Rios. “With this group, we were able to add some young players with tremendous ability, while also getting a player who brings really valuable international experience.”
All four signings are still pending the approval the United States Soccer Federation. The signings of Matsushita and Schnorf are pending the receipt of their international transfer certificates.