Atlanta United had their third MLS game of the season vs Philadelphia Union looking for their first MLS win to come at home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Unfortunately for the 5-Stripes, it was not to be.
Philadelphia played spoiler last night as they took a point away from Atlanta United on the road at the most difficult venue in MLS. It has been back to back weeks now that United have dropped points at home.
Last week they played F.C. Cincinnati in a similar below average performance by the 5-Stripes. The first half of the match started out very calmly as chances were limited and the show on the pitch was more of a midfield and defensive performance for United. Possession was split about 50/50 between the two clubs. Then, in the 40th minute defenseman Miles Robinson came to the United rescue (again) as Union were knocking on the doorstep.
Philadelphia forward, Fabrice Picault was able to get around GK Brad Guzan and was staring into an open net with an opportunity to break the nil-nil deadlock. However, a weak shot as he was falling to his right, allowed Robinson to sprint back and clear the ball away just before it reached the goal line. Miles Robinson has shown his superior defensive prowess in every opportunity he’s been given thus far, which is contrary to performances seen under former coach Tata Martino.
With De Boer introducing him into the starting XI, the 22 year old has had numerous “lights out” performances. Robinson has been United’s best player so far this season and is turning into one of the leagues brightest and youngest MLS talents, Great Job Miles!
It did not take long in the second half for Union to find the opening as Remedi’s giveaway opened up a chance for Union to score. 18 year old Brenden Aaronson scored the opener as his shot on goal took a slight deflection off of United’s LGP which cauesd the ball to change trajectory and move opposite Guzan. United found the equalizer in the 70th minute as Juian Gressel’s curling cross into the box connected with a wide open Ezequiel Barco who’s magnificent header sailed over the goalie’s fingertips and tied the game for United with 20 minutes remaining in the match. Unfortunately, United were unable to use that momentum and find a winner over Philadelphia, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. After 3 MLS games our beloved 5-Stripes are still winless with 2 draws and 1 loss.
With the International Break this week, United are finally going to be able to get some much needed rest from the seemingly never ending action. Only Josef Martinez, Gonzalo Martinez, and Tito Villalba have been called up this week for their national teams and will be in action for their country’s friendlies. Atlanta’s next MLS matchup will be against Columbus Crew SC as United take on Gyasi Zardes and Zach Steffen on Saturday, March 30th as we hope to take 3 points back to Atlanta from Columbus. VAMOS UNITED!
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Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG