The Atlanta Silverbacks ended the 2012 season in impressive fashion, conceding only four goals over their final seven games. Two of the players who were at the forefront of the team’s defensive dominance were defenders Beto Navarro and Mike Randolph. On Tuesday, the Silverbacks announced the return of the trio, taking another big step towards fielding a team that the club hopes will challenge for its first ever league title.
“We’re very excited to have these players back for another season,” said Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes. “Not only is it good to have some consistency in the roster from year to year, but these particular guys are high-level players who I believe will be playing at the next level in the coming years.”
Navarro and Randolph both signed with the Silverbacks last July, following the hire of Eric Wynalda as the club’s interim head coach. Navarro and Randolph played integral roles under Wynalda at Cal FC in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and quickly adapted to NASL play, serving as key players down the stretch for the Silverbacks last season.
A standout at Cal-State Bakersfield where he played alongside Silverbacks teammate Richie Menjivar, Navarro started out with PDL side Fresno Fuego. The 6-foot-1 defender then linked up with Wynalda and helped Cal FC, an amateur team, advance to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The 23-year-old center back then signed with the Silverbacks in July, appearing in eight games – seven of which he started.
A former member of the U.S. U-23 National Team, Randolph returns to Atlanta after starting three games at left back last season. The 27-year-old California native brings extensive experience to the Silverbacks roster, most notably the 39 league appearances he made for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2006-2008. Outside of the time he spent playing alongside David Beckham in L.A., Randolph has plied his trade with the Portland Timbers, California Victory, Los Angeles Legends, Miami FC, Los Angeles Blues, Ventura County Fusion, and Cal FC.
Both players will join their teammates in Atlanta in late February to begin training camp. The Silverbacks kick off their 2013 season on April 13 when they host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
This article was provided by the team and edited for publication.