Have a day, George Bello.
The 2-1 final doesn’t really do this game justice. Atlanta United dominated a very undisciplined New England side Saturday evening at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Just three minutes in, Josef Martinez appeared to open the scoring but was called offsides. It was one of several offside instances today. That was just about the only negative that could be said about today.
After a few more chances gone astray, the Five Stripes finally broke through in the 17th minute. Sixteen year old, (yes, 16) homegrown player from Douglasville, George Bello scored to send the Five Stripe faithful into a frenzy. In just his second start for the first team, Bello became the 6th youngest player in MLS history.
In the 30th minute, star Forward Miguel Almiron would go down with what the team is calling a “leg injury”. Unfortunately, Miggy will probably not be back for the rest of the regular season. If he is unable to go for the playoffs that would be a huge blow to our championship hopes. The rest of the half would end up fairly uneventful as neither side was able to convert on any of their chances.
The 2nd half would be much of the same. Atlanta United would have a ton of chances but would only convert on a Julian Gressel shot assisted by Tito Villalba.
New England’s only goal came in stoppage time as Juan Agudelo was able to net one off a frenzied play where it also appeared that multiple Revs were offsides.
The win puts Atlanta United at 66 Points (32 GP 2.06 PPG 20-6-6) on the season with two games remaining. If they win one of their final two and tie in the other, the Five Stripes will break the MLS record of 69 points set by Toronto just last season. Atlanta is having a story book, record season but it won’t mean much without a MLS Cup victory on December 8th. All eyes will be on the health of Miguel Almiron between now and the team’s first playoff match November 4th.
Also of note: New York Red Bulls (32 GP 2.03 PPG 20-7-5 65 Points) destroyed San Jose Saturday Evening. The win keeps NYRB just one point shy of Atlanta United for the Supporter’s Shield. An automatic berth to the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League will be scored with one more point or one point dropped by NRYB in the final two.
Atlanta United remaining schedule:
10/21 Vs Chicago Fire
10/28 @ Toronto FC
New York Red Bulls remaining schedule:
10/21 @ Philadelphia Union
10/28 Vs Orlando City
Atlanta United will likely not be able to rely on goal-differential as a tie breaker and of course not head-to-head so it’s imperative ATLUTD takes care of Chicago and Toronto.
Continue on to the next page for a full scoring and statistical breakdown and a look ahead to what’s next.