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  • The Reserve Squad: Atlanta Silverbacks relocating to Winnipeg


    ccs-3097-140264009156_thumb.jpgAn agreement to sell the North American Soccer League's Atlanta Silverbacks to a Winnipeg group which plans to relocate the franchise to the Manitoba capital is done.

    Sources -- who chose to remain anonymous, mostly because they happen to own the outlet in which this story is being reported -- say the team will play its games at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex, former home of the Winnipeg Fury and current home of WSA Winnipeg of the lower-division PDL.

    The announcement garnered some instant reaction from Manitoba soccer fans on Twitter.

    "Terrific news! Shut up haters! When The Reserve Squad reports it, it's good as gold!" tweeted @peterssoccer.

    "finally! this is awesome! Anyone wanna sign up for an NASL pool?" tweeted @o_o_t.

    "Any Brazilians on the team? No? Don't care. Also, people on the bus smell weird" tweeted @RBeilfuss.

    The announcement also generated plenty of debate as to what the team should be called.


    While a small minority have suggested the franchise retain its "Silverbacks" moniker, the idea has been rejected by those noting that gorillas are, in fact, not indigenous to Manitoba.

    Fans sporting old Winnipeg Fury jerseys -- despite being too young to have been cognizant of the team when it actually existed -- dotted the downtown core on Friday morning, suggesting plenty of fealty for the historical name. But the group purchasing the franchise has rejected the notion of "bringing back the Fury".

    "We've spent too much time building the brand of WSA Winnipeg," said one of the main investors. "I don't care if we infuriate every single soccer fan in this city by refusing to do what's obviously right -- we're going to ram this brand down your throat! You got that, peons?"

    The investor then calmly wiped his brow with a 100-yuan note and sipped from a glass of dolphin tears.

    Word of the move garnered some mixed reaction among players.

    "Winnipeg?" asked Silverbacks goalkeeper Felipe Quintero. "It's cold there! And nobody speaks Spanish! I'd rather go back and play in Mexico!"

    "Wow. Really? How old am I?" asked Pat Onstad of D.C. United, a former keeper for the Winnipeg Fury. Onstad bristled when it was suggested that he hold off retirement for one more season so that he could finish his long, storied career in a Winnipeg jersey.

    "As I told you last off-season, I'm retired. No more playing. That's that. Now if you'll excuse me, practice is starting."

    Reports of the relocation have been denied by the Silverbacks' current ownership, the NASL, the PDL and a variety of competing media outlets who certainly have no vested interest whatsoever in attempting to discredit The Reserve Squad.

    But has The Reserve Squad ever led you astray before?


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