Atlanta look for retribution on Thursday night

Photo Credit: USA Today

After suffering a 3-1 defeat in Costa Rica, United are looking to turn the tables on Thursday.

Atlanta United looks to lick their wounds now that the team is back home and will have the full support of 10,000 fans at Fifth Third Bank Stadium Thursday in Kennesaw.

After observing his first game as head coach, hopefully Frank De Boer will come up with a much improved and well executed game plan than what was planned for last Thursday. He is very confident that his team can bounce back and turn around to overcome the 3-1 deficit. History goes to show that when United lose a game or get dominated on the field by another team, they can go on a long unbeaten or winning streak. Whether it was during the season or in the playoffs from last season this team is very resilient and will definitely give Herediano all they can handle as United supporters look to see their stars shine and progress through to the Quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

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Atlanta United’s keys to win the game should be first by immediately apply pressure on Herediano’s defense just like they did ours in the first game so the chances of scoring an early goal could be very high, especially given the talent we have up front.

Taking more shots is something United need to do more of. We know Ezequiel Barco and Pity Martinez can dribble around defenders for days, but making the best out of every opportunity will matter on Thursday night. MVP Josef Martinez also needs to receive the ball more from his teammates so he can get used to the ball on his feet more, once the offense is up and running there will be no chance of stopping our high caliber and talented players from putting the ball in the back of the net. Players like Tito Villalba and Julian Gressel who have great shooting abilities from far range and difficult angles, everyone remembers Tito’s screamer against Orlando back in 2017.

Photo Credit: Pro Soccer USA

As far as the midfield goes, we could see Brek Shea take George Bello’s spot on the left wingback side of the field if United decide to go with another similar formation as they did last week, Shea has experience in these competitions and can be more physical 1 on 1 with opposing players.

Central Midfielders need to step up their game after a dissatisfying performance last week. Hopefully training this week will fix up most of those errors and get better in their weak spots. Remedi, Nagbe and Larentowicz will constantly be moving up and down the field so they need to get focused and settle into the game once the whistle blows.

Getting back on defense to help out will be very important as well with the quick speed that Herediano’s players have on counter attacking situations. When it comes to helping out the forwards, quick passes and less giveaways and turnovers will be very vital when trying to move up the field. Causing counter attacks with the amount of talent we have can do severe damage to any opposing defense.

Photo Credit: AJC

With Franco Escobar still sidelined with an injury and Florentin Pogba’s status for his appearance still unclear, United will be lacking depth on the defensive side. But there will be no excuses after United’s horrific performance on defense last game. We need a huge revitalization after the many costly errors and mistakes they made. If United decide to go with 3 in the back again, centerbacks Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst and Miles Robinson need to be on high alert, not giving up the ball easily and making smart decisions like not commoting fouls in dangerous free kick positions and not racking up yellow cards which could lead to suspension later on in the competition if United were to advance in the next round. Being Physical is something that our defenders should not be afraid of, especially when it comes down to corner kicks or sliding tackles as it could slow down and break up possible counter attacks Herediano might try and do to us once again.

Fans can watch and follow the CCL Competition and Atlanta United play on the Yahoo Sports website or by using the Yahoo Sports App on your device. Games will also be broadcasted and shown live on Univision Deportes. VAMOS UNITED!

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Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG

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