MLS Match Preview: Atlanta United vs. Colorado Rapids

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Atlanta United are back in action this weekend as they take on Western Conference opponent Colorado Rapids.

The match will be played on Saturday, April 27 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with kickoff set for 6 P.M. and there is a possibility of tomorrow’s match being played with the roof open if weather permits.

Saturday’s forecast calls for Blue skies with the Sun out and temps in the mid to upper 70’s, this means there will be a great probability of the roof being open for Saturday’s match, we’ll see what the team announces likely a few hours before kickoff.

Should be a fantastic evening for a key showdown in the south against the rocky mountain club Colorado Rapids who United have defeated in both of their meetings since 2017 with United winning the first meeting at Bobby Dodd Stadium 1-0 and defeating the Rapids in the second meeting with a convincing win 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado.

So, history has fared well in their favor for United in this series so far. Unfortunately though things have started off slow and abysmal for United so far in the 2019 MLS Season with only 1 victory in 6 matches and dropping points at home is something United have never done since moving into their new home at the Benz in the fall of 2017.

Three straight matches without a win for United at home has never happened before so that says a lot about how home-field advantage has deeply been a part of United’s success with record breaking attendances of over 70,000+ and star players working their magic on the field for the past 2 years.

Things have come to a halt with changes in the club under new management and new players trying to adjust to Major League Soccer. United need to come out with a win in this match as the scrutiny level keeps rising with every single match without a win.

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In terms of the upcoming starting lineup, Head Coach Frank De Boer could possibly put out an attacking starting XI for Saturday’s match because the Rapids have allowed the most goals so far this season with 23 goals allowed so this could provide the opportunity for United to capitalize on a fragmented Rapids team who have not won a single game this season in MLS with only 2 draws and the rest of the 6 being losses.

If United can attack and pressure the Rapids back line constantly with a barrage of counter attacks they will likely score on at least one of them and scoring early in the game could be key to changing the tempo of the game and in favor of Atlanta.

From there, the team should continue to keep on the pressure and end the game early with possibly scoring 2 or more goals in the first half just like they did last season in Colorado.

Defensively, we must avoid giving way easy free kicks in dangerous positions on the pitch and try to avoid getting in the book of the referee. The last thing United needs is a suspension of a starting and key defensive player like for example LGP who is an aggressive player and a stout defender. He does tend to rack up the yellow cards from time to time and usually gets tempered when he does not like the way a referee is managing the game and that’s a natural response of course. He just needs to control it more often in tense situations or when the game is on the line.

On the injury report list, George Bello returned to training with the team this week and likely will play a couple games with ATL UTD 2 before getting back with the first team, just to get back in form. Pity Martinez will also likely be added back into the starting lineup as he is definitely now back at 100% after the injury he suffered while on international duty with Argentina back at the end of March. We hope this weekend that Atlanta United can turn it around with a win over a fragile and desperate Colorado Rapids team.

Saturday’s match will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports Southeast with kickoff set for 6 P.M. VAMOS UNITED!

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

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