This Friday, ATL UTD 2 (2-5-3) is heading into Week 11 of the United Soccer League (USL) and is currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings. ATL UTD 2 is planning to continue their away game stretch and get off to a hot summer start against 15th ranked and newly USL promoted, North Carolina FC (2-4-2) at WakeMed Soccer Park.
They’ve Seen Better Days
With poor clearances from their side of the pitch and inefficient passing last week, NCFC (North Carolina FC) looked like a shell of themselves after a 4-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. Cincinnati expects to be named as an expansion team of the MLS (Major Soccer League) for the upcoming 2019 season and has been playing like it. At the level of class Cincinnati has been playing with, all NCFC could hope to do was park the bus, in defensive terms, and run counter attacking plays to catch them off guard. However, NCFC’s backline crowded up throughout the match and let Cincinnati’s through passes penetrate pockets of space that were overlooked by the players. This gave FC Cincinnati good looks on goal and good looks is all they needed to capitalize in a major way.
Let’s not be fooled by their last match up, though. NCFC has definitely seen better days and this isn’t an accurate picture of what they are capable of. When North Carolina gets going on the offensive end, they can be extremely dangerous. NCFC showed their dominance in their match against Penn FC and scored 3 goals within the span of 8 minutes to shutout the visiting team at home.
So Close it Hurts
With only 1 point separating the two, North Carolina FC and ATL UTD 2 are almost identical in the standings this season and the seeming inconsistency in both teams’ records can be attributed to the core of young players that make up the teams. In their most recent outing, ATL UTD 2 kept up with Louisville City FC minute after minute until a heartbreaking stoppage time shot hit the back of the net making the final score: Louisville City FC: 2 ATL UTD 2: 1.
Whether it’s Sandoval or Williams, both have the technique to finish once they’re in the upper third part of the pitch. If ATL UTD 2 uses a 4-2-3-1 formation against NCFC like they did last week against Louisville, they’ll be able to get more offensive help to the striker up top.
In midfield, Kissiedou had a great performance last week and scored a golazo from outside the penalty area to tie up the game. Having Kissiedou as a Center Attacking Midfielder again smells like a recipe for greatness.
Most Dangerous Player:
MDP: Daniel Rios – 4 goals in 7 apps.
ATL UTD 2: 2
North Carolina FC: 1
ArturoPrincipe | @ArturoPrincipe1