Here are some words to describe Atlanta United’s performance last night… MUCH, MUCH, BETTER.
United came out on top last night at the Benz with a 1-0 victory over Monterrey in the second leg of the CCL Quarterfinals.
Even though United were unfortunately eliminated on aggregate by a final total result of both games combined (3-1) for Monterrey, we saw many promising signs last night that this team is still the best team in MLS, undisputed.
Atlanta United were the first MLS team EVER to beat Monterrey, one of the bigger and better clubs from Mexico. Atlanta was definitely the better team last night, everywhere on the pitch the players were committed to doing their job, well let’s just say it was mission accomplished last night. United could have possibly scored enough goals to tie on aggregate, with chances created by Pity Martinez and Josef Martinez throughout last night’s game. Unfortunately many of those chances were saved incredibly by Monterrey GK Marcelo Barravero who kept his team from being at risk of blowing their 3-0 lead with saves on Josef Martinez’s chance early in the game and Pity Martinez’s incredible strike from distance.
United did find the breakthrough though in the 77th minute of the game with a goal from Josef Martinez to give Atlanta the one goal lead and would be the only score of the night in United’s victory.
Despite being eliminated, there are many positives that should be noted in last night’s win. We still have the rest of the long MLS Season to look forward to in which we should still be the undeniable favorites to win back-to-back MLS Cups and maybe even the Supporters Shield.
U.S. Open Cup will also be arriving in the near future so United still have plenty of opportunities to claim another title for the city of Atlanta. With the resilient effort from this team and passion and support coming from the 17’s in the stands we have plenty to look forward to as the young season advances for our 5-Stripes. We will be back CONCACAF Champions League very, very soon.
Next up for Atlanta United is a matchup against the Philadelphia Union this Sunday, March 17th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 7 P.M.
All time United is 3-1-0 against Philadelphia with 3 wins and 1 draw so United have had the edge over the Union since our entrance into MLS.
On paper, United should easily take care of the Union with minimal to no problems, but don’t underestimate this Union side as they have experienced players like GK Andre Blake who’s debatably the best GK in the league, U.S. International Alejandro Bedoya and Mexican International and new signing Marco Fabian could cause some problems if they are able to play their kind of game which they want.
United needs to disrupt that and cause problems for Union’s defense if they can create a lot of pressure up front. Philadelphia’s defense is not the best so it should not be very difficult for United to cause chaos early in the game for Union’s defense with the likes of Barco and Pity Martinez on the wings and Josef Martinez up front this three man tag team should be, at least on paper one of the best front 3’s in the MLS.
Everything Atlanta did against Monterrey, they need to do against Philadelphia to have the kind of success they had on Wednesday. This team can score goals and take over a game in minutes, this will be a big confidence booster if United can perform a decisive game against Philadelphia.
With a decisive win on Sunday United will get their first win of the MLS Season and have a total of 4 points in the Eastern Conference Table with 1 Win, 1 Draw and 1 Loss so far in 3 games.
Plenty of Soccer is left to play so places in the standings should not even be a worry right now at all. Things will change frequently not just for United but for other MLS teams as well.
Special shoutout to Miles Robinson, this guy has played his mind off so far this season and in my opinion right now he’s the best defender right now with his impressive performances, he is already getting much more playing time under FDB than with Tata Martino. Florentin Pogba made his Atlanta United debut last night coming off the bench for captain Michael Parkhurst getting around some playing time of around 15-20 minutes. We hope to see Franco Escobar back with the team soon as we expect him to return around this time in Mid-March, he will help out our defense significantly. VAMOS UNITED!
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Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG