3 Observations from Atlanta United’s 2-0 win vs. LA Galaxy

Gressel is Atlanta’s MVP this year

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There is no doubt Gressel has been great this year and one of the best Atlanta United players but I’m ready to declare him the best player so far this year. Although his 3 assists and 1 goal don’t pop off the page, he has been outstanding this year especially since Tata made the switch to the 3-5-2. That change simplified the position for Gressel and has allowed him to flourish. His passing has been great and so have his runs but the most impressive facet of his game this year has been his crosses. They’ve been astounding and he has rarely missed. WhoScored says he has had 12 key passes and although I think he has more, that’s still a good number and he has played great this year considering the position switch.

The backline is astounding

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A lot of the concern in preseason was with Atlanta’s defense and I would hope that if the doubts weren’t already put to rest, this game did that. Not only has LGP been wonderful the year but the whole backline has been great. LGP had another gem of a game tonight bossing Zlatan and not letting him get a shot on goal. Parkhurst continued his good string of games tonight as he had a 6.8 WhoScored rating and an 87% pass success percentage. McCann stole the show tonight though as he was all over the place. He had a few great stops in the box but also contributed on the offensive end starting a few moves as well as putting in a couple of crosses. He ended with 6% of Atlanta United’s possession and a 7.32 WhoScored rating. Guzan also played extremely well tonight (more below on his performance)

Atlanta continues their gritty performances

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With the win tonight, Atlanta has continued to show their grit in these last 3 performances. Atlanta United gridded out a 10 man win against Minnesota, followed it up with a draw against the best team in MLS with a very injured lineup, and then traveled to a hostile environment against one of the best strikers in the history of football and held him and the Galaxy scoreless.

Man of the match: Brad Guzan

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Guzan had a wonderful game. In his first game against Zlatan, Guzan showed no fear as he claimed plenty of balls and got face-to-face with the “Lion”. Something I noticed tonight with his play that was met impressive was how he came off his line. On many of LA’s 7 corners, Guzan came out to get the ball or punch it away but also came off his line on balls in the run of play to prevent shots. He is my man of the match although you really could’ve given it to a myriad of players (McCann, Nagbe, Almiron, or Gressel)

 

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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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