Tonight, Atlanta United fell to the New York Red(f) Bulls 3-1
VAR still has some kinks to work out
I am in strong favor of VAR and like it for all leagues but the rules need some changes. The rule states that it must be a clear and obvious error. Penso ignored that rule in two ways. He didn’t look at the monitor for more than a second and he is supposed to look at it. A tweet came up on my timeline that showed it could be a foul:
You watch that and it can be debated and even to some can be determined a clear foul. The problem is that when you zoom in and slow a play down, the call is not a clear and obvious error that the rules state it must be. I believe it wasn’t a foul at all. I believe it was incidental but then that brings up the argument that handballs aren’t always on purpose but are still called. Handballs aren’t called when the defender’s hands are in a natural position and I think Martinez’s feet are in a natural position coming across his body in order to change direction. I’m in favor of VAR being implemented and used across all leagues but I think more training must be implemented as well a rule clear-up.
The defense still has problems in the air
Let’s ignore how poor the refs were tonight. The defense was poor. The first problem is that you let one of the most lethal strikers in MLS history 2 unmarked runs into the box. Guzan had absolutely no chance on either of the goals by Bradley Wright-Phillips. My second problem is how we have consistently struggled with good heading teams. Tata made a change in the Vancouver game to compensate for it and it worked. I’m not saying change your formation based on one player but the players looked unprepared for marking on crosses.
Atlanta’s attack is having problems (kind of)
With a backup goalkeeper, many fans believed Atlanta would run all over New York and Meara. That wasn’t the case but it falls on both parties. Meara was fantastic tonight and certainly didn’t seem like a backup keeper and made some wonderful saves. The main problem was Atlanta’s attack. If Almiron wants to be a 15-20 million dollar player that plays in Europe, he must make more of his chances. He has the most shots in the MLS but not goals. I’m not saying he has to make every shot he takes but he has missed a very good amount of chances this year and missed another great chance tonight. Martinez also missed a pretty good chance which was out of character for him. The attack is still best in the MLS but their finishing this year has been pretty spotty.
Obviously tonight wasn’t a great performance from Atlanta or the refs but Atlanta is still top of the East and the league! The Five Stripes will face the New England Revolution next on Wednesday at 7:30!
A scary injury tonight for Martin Lawrence tonight and as someone with a history of head/neck injuries, everyone at ATLSportsHQ and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Martin Lawrence and we wish him a speedy recovery!