The Best Offense is a Good Defense
This Saturday, ATL UTD 2 (1-3-3) make their way to Ontario to face off against the Canadian side, Ottawa Fury FC (1-4-2) at TD Place Stadium in Week 10 of the United Soccer League. The Ottawa Fury are currently 15th in the Eastern Conference of the USL and hold a record very similar to ours with the exception of one more loss, placing ATL UTD 2 14th, directly above them in the standings.
ATL UTD 2
In week 8 against FC Cincinnati , ATL UTD 2 looked crowded in their defensive line and it allowed Cincinnati to thread the ball to their players too many times. Leaving the keeper isolated with a player looking to score is not very reassuring to the team and it’s difficult for a keeper to trust a backline that allows a run like that to get past them.
One important thing to keep in mind is that Ottawa moves fast and does an excellent job of finding pockets of space to move up the field and get a shot off. ATL UTD 2 need to stay solid and play aggressively in the backline so Ottawa doesn’t get to create too many opportunities.
Development at its’ Finest
The matches ATL UTD 2 has had so far have given their younger players great opportunities to get useful experience and has provided leadership roles to the more seasoned players that are regulars in the USL. While the Win column may not look how we want it to right now, the inaugural season is doing a great job developing their players and having them ready and on-call if they need to step in for injured players in the first team.
Paul Christensen (ATL UTD 2’s goalkeeper) made his MLS debut this Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City after Brad Guzan (Atlanta United starting goalkeeper) received a red card and was ejected from the pitch. This was a tall task for Christensen but he made the most out of his debut which resulted in a hard fought 2-0 loss. Christensen will be Atlanta United’s go-to keeper for the next few days or weeks, depending on how far along Atlanta’s keepers are in rehabbing their injuries.
With that said, it is highly likely that ATL UTD 2 starts Nicolas Caraux in place of Christensen against the Fury. Caraux has started in a total of 4 games and has been consistent in his time with ATL UTD 2.
Bringing it on Home
Coming off 3 consecutive losses, ATL UTD 2’s confidence seems to be at a stand still at this point in the season. On the other hand, the Fury are coming back home from 2 undefeated matches so you can imagine the momentum is on their side.
A win today would help us climb the standings considerably and if there was ever a time to turn it around, it would be now. With all things considered, Ottawa is a team that can turn the ball over in dangerous spots and don’t like to contest for aerial plays.
If we maintain the pressure and pace that we normally establish in the game and keep the ball in the air then it’s we’ll be able to get the advantage early.
My score prediction:
ATL UTD 2: 1
Ottawa Fury FC: 0
Most Dangerous Player:
MDP: Colin Falvey – 1 goal in 7 apps.
Arturo Principe | @ArturoPrincipe1
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