Atlanta United Game-by-Game Season Preview and Prediction

In this article, I will be going through every single game of the MLS Regular Season and will give my predictions and end of season stats!

3/3: @ Houston Dynamo

I expect to see some rust from the squad as it’s the first game of the 2018 season but I think Martinez will get an early start on his golden boot march and Mr. Clean Sheet keeps his first clean sheet of the year.

Atlanta 2-0 Houston (Martinez & Almiron)

3/11: vs. D.C. United

The home opener for the five stripes is against D.C. United. They were our kryptonite last year but I expect that to sort of change with this game. I think Atlanta secures a draw in this game.

Atlanta 1-1 D.C. (Villalba)

3/17: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

The second home game of the year is against Vancouver and is the only game Atlanta will play against them. I don’t know a lot about Vancouver but I still think since this game is at home, Atlanta will win.

Atlanta 3-1 Vancouver (Gressel x2 & Nagbe)

4/1: @ Minnesota United

Last year in the battle of expansion teams in Minnesota, Atlanta pulled out a 6-1 victory in a winter wonderland.

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Both teams got better this offseason and so I don’t expect the scoreline to be the same but I do expect the result to be the same.

Atlanta 4-1 Minnesota (Martinez x2, Nagbe, Garza)

4/7: vs. Los Angeles FC

For the third home game, Atlanta plays host to the newest expansion team in the MLS, LAFC. It’s hard to predict what might happen without seeing LAFC play a competitive game but I expect them to be pretty good but still think Atlanta United prevails via a late winner by the Frosted Orange.

Atlanta 1-0 Los Angeles (Carleton)

4/15: vs. New York City FC

Last year, Atlanta United and New York City FC swapped 3-1 scorelines with both winning at home. Both teams lost dynamic playmakers on the wing, Jack Harrison and Yamil Asad, in the offseason but both team’s main strikers are still on the squad as well as the teams’ overall attacking threat. I don’t expect there to be much defense but instead think there will be lots of goals in this thriller courtesy of the best MLS strikers.

Atlanta 3-2 New York City (Martinez x2, Villalba)

4/21: @ Los Angeles Galaxy

The Galaxy had a very bad year totaling the lowest points in their history. Atlanta United destroyed them last year 4-0. I don’t expect the Galaxy to be as bad as last year but still expect Atlanta to win.

Atlanta 4-1 Los Angeles Galaxy (Almiron, Nagbe, Vazquez x2 )

4/28: vs. Montreal Impact

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Last year, Atlanta United played Montreal twice. They won the home game and lost the away game. Despite this being a home game for the Five Stripes, I think it will be a draw.

Atlanta 2-2 Montreal (Martinez, Almiron)

5/5: @ Chicago Fire

Chicago is a pretty solid squad and because this game is away, I expect it to be a hard fought game that Atlanta ultimately loses.

Atlanta 1-2 Chicago (Martinez)

5/9: vs. Sporting Kansas City

Last year, Atlanta United only played SKC once and drew on a last minute goal thanks to former Atlanta & SKC player Jacob Peterson. It is hard to predict this game as SKC & Atlanta have gotten better this offseason. I think since this game is at home, Atlanta won’t lose but will instead draw thanks to a late minute goal by the debutant Ezequiel Barco.

Atlanta 2-2 Sporting KC (Villalba, Barco)

5/13: @ Orlando City

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AHHHHHHH. The newest rivalry in the MLS. Most of our fans hate Orlando and even some of our players had heated arguments with Orlando’s squad. Orlando got better in the offseason with additions like Klejstan but Larin also left so I don’t have a great indication of how good Orlando will be. Orlando-Atlanta games were close last year but I still see Atlanta coming out with a win this game thanks to a last minute winner by the Lion Tamer.

Atlanta 2-1 Orlando (Martinez, Villalba)

5/20: vs. New York Red Bulls

New York lost one of their more important midfielders during the offseason in Sasha Klejstan but retain a top 5 striker in Bradley Wright-Phillips. New York is still a pretty good team but I think Atlanta is a little better and wins this game thanks to an Almiron hat trick.

Atlanta 3-2 New York Red Bulls (Almiron x3)

5/30: @ New England Revolution

Last year, Atlanta drew 0-0 at New England. Garza was hurt, the pitch was bad, and Atlanta’s finishing just was unlucky. The pitch hasn’t improved and I doubt we will be that unlucky. That being said, this game is pretty hard to predict but I think Atlanta will win.

Atlanta 2-0 New England (Escobar, Gressel)

6/2: vs. Philadelphia Union

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It’s the second game in four days for Atlanta and on top of that it is in a different location so less travel & less practice time might lead to a sluggish start but since Philadelphia is one of the worst teams in the MLS, Atlanta will win.

Atlanta 4-1 Philadelphia (Barco x2, Garza, Martinez)

6/9: @ New York City FC

In the second match of the season vs. NYCFC, I expect Atlanta to lose as I think on the road vs. a great team is going to be a challenge for Atlanta. On top of that, this is their 3rd game in 10 days so legs are probably going to be tired.

Atlanta 1-2 New York City FC (Martinez)

6/13: @ Columbus Crew

Although I don’t think Columbus is better than Atlanta, this is the fourth game in 14 days for Atlanta and as we found out last year, Atlanta doesn’t necessarily do well when they have fixture congestion. I think it leads to some changes in the starting lineup as well as some sluggish play.

Atlanta 2-3 Columbus (LGP, Barco)

6/24: vs. Portland Timbers

After an 11 day break, Atlanta welcomes the Portland Timbers for the only time this season. I fully expect Atlanta to be back to full strength and firing at all cylinders. Portland is a good team but I don’t think Portland will be able to contain Atlanta’s dynamic attack and I think Nagbe scores against his former team.

Atlanta 4-2 Portland (Nagbe, Gressel, Almiron, Barco)

6/30: vs. Orlando City

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In the second game of the rivalry this season, Orlando comes to Atlanta. I think with home field advantage, Atlanta should come out on top.

Atlanta 2-1 Orlando (Villalba, Martinez)

7/4: @ FC Dallas

For the first game in July, Atlanta travels to face a very good FC Dallas squad. They started off very well last year but ended very poorly. I think since they have a good youth squad/development & because this is Atlanta’s second game in a week, Dallas’ depth will allow them to steal a draw because even with tired legs, Atlanta is still equal to FC Dallas.

Atlanta 3-3 FC Dallas (Nagbe, Villalba, Almiron)

7/7: @ Philadelphia Union

For the 3rd game in 7 days, Atlanta travels to the city of brotherly love to face a bad Philadelphia team. Because of the fixture congestion, this game won’t be as much of a blowout as the first game but I still think Atlanta wins thanks to a Martinez hat trick.

Atlanta 3-2 Philadelphia (Martinez x3)

7/15: vs. Seattle

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The first and only game against Seattle takes place in Atlanta. Thankfully, we don’t have to travel west for this game but Seattle has been a great team the last few years. Jordan Morris went down for the year but Seattle is still a pretty good team and I don’t think Atlanta gets the job done.

Atlanta 1-2 Seattle (Martinez)

7/21: vs. D.C. United

Atlanta United welcomes D.C. United for the second time to Atlanta and will try to get their first win ever vs. D.C. United. I think they will as it is a home game but you never know with D.C. United.

Atlanta 2-0 D.C. United (Barco, Martinez)

7/28: vs. Montreal Impact

For the last fixture of June, Montreal welcomes Atlanta for their only meeting of 2018. I expect this to be a hard fought game as  the travel could effect Atlanta but Montreal isn’t good enough to where they will win.

Atlanta 2-2 Montreal (Martinez, Villalba)

8/4 vs. Toronto FC

Toronto were no doubt the best team in the league last year and I think they could continue that in 2018. They return nearly all of their pieces from last year and will defiitely remain a scary team to face. Atlanta is also a scary team and both are pretty similar to each other so I think this ends in a hard fought draw where both teams get chances but can’t finish.

Atlanta 1-1 Toronto (Martinez)

8/19: vs. Columbus Crew

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After a “bye week”, Atlanta United welcomes the crew to the Benz. The Crew, earlier in the seasom beat Atlanta (according to my predictions), but I don’t think it happens again. The main reason I had Columbus beating Atlanta earlier in the season was fixture congestion and without that I think Atlanta wins pretty easily.

Atlanta 2-0 Crew (Martinez, Barco)

8/24: @ Orlando City

For the final time in the regular season, Atlanta United visits the hated rivals in Orlando. Purely because this game is in Orlando, I think Orlando wins.

Atlanta 1-2 Orlando (Villalba)

9/2: @/vs. D.C. United

Atlanta United, for the third and final time in 2018, take on D.C. United. This game is a little hard to predict as a location has yet to be set and I think that can matter, especially with an Atlanta United vs. D.C. United fixture, between results so I think this will be a draw.

Atlanta 0-0 D.C. United

9/15: @ Colorado Rapids

This is the first and only game Atlanta will have against the Rapids in 2018. Unfortunately, it is at Colorado and late in the season so it might get a bit chilly. Thankfully, cold weather hasn’t affected Atlanta that much in the past so I think Atlanta wins this pretty handily.

Atlanta 3-1 Colorado (Martinez, Almiron, Villalba)

9/19: @ San Jose Earthquakes

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Only 4 days later, Atlanta travels to face the Earthquakes. They have gotten significantly better in the offseason so I think this one ends in a draw

Atlanta 3-3 San Jose (Martinez, Escobar, Nagbe)

9/22: vs. Real Salt Lake

Atlanta, for the only time this season, plays host to Real Salt Lake. I think with this being Atlanta’s 3rd game in 7 days, legs will be a little tired and the game will end in a draw.

Atlanta 2-2 Real Salt Lake (Carleton, Martinez)

9/30: @ New York Red Bulls

New York is a very good team and so I expect a hard fought game. Since this game is away, I think Atlanta will draw as we get closer to the end of the season and Tata starts rotating players (maybe).

Atlanta 3-3 New York Red Bulls (Martinez x2, Larentowicz)

10/6: vs. New England Revolution

New England isn’t a good team and the last time they came to Atlanta, we thrashed them 7-0. This game won’t be nearly as much of a blowout as that game but I think Atlanta still wins pretty handily.

Atlanta 5-1 New England (Martinez, LGP, Almiron, Barco x2)

10/21: vs. Chicago Fire

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This is the only time Chicago will face Atlanta this regular season and Atlanta plays host. Chicago has a top-3 striker in Nemanja Nikolić and a very good overall team so this game is no pushover. I think Atlanta comes out with a point from a hard fought game.

Atlanta 2-2 Chicago (Villalba, Escobar)

10/28: @ Toronto FC

Atlanta has the hardest fixture posible on decision day this year. I think this game will definitely determine who gets the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Toronto is still a good team and I think, especially with the chilly weather and home field advantage, will beat Atlanta to get the first seed in the playoffs.

Atlanta 2-3 Toronto (Escobar, Martinez)

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Season Summary

Points: 62 (2nd in Eastern Conference)

Team MVP: Almiron

Clean Sheets: 6

Statistics

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I think Almiron and Barco will lead the team in assists as Martinez will win the golden boot and tie the second highest scoring tally in MLS history!

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All my predictions are pretty optimistic but I think with the talent Atlanta has, they are very possible!

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If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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