Six Points | Four Days: Atlanta United Dominate Minnesota and Chicago

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Josef Martinez |

Atlanta heads into the break on a high note.

Roughly 50 days ago, Atlanta United were in uncharted territory; last place on the table, fans calling for FBD’s head, and Josef struggling to find the back of the net. That’s all a distant memory now.

Since that point, Atlanta has gone on to win eight of their last 10 matches all in shutout fashion.

The players are starting to become comfortable in Frank deBoer’s system. Coming off back to back losses to end a three match road trip, the Five Stripes came home needing six points to keep pace with the top of the table.

First up was Minnesota United Wednesday night at the Benz. The Loons came in as a much improved side but were no match for the reigning champs.

Franco Escobar opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a fantastic goal. Not much would happen over the next 45 or so minutes until Brad Guzan turned into Superman.

It looked like Atlanta was on it’s way to a 1-0 victory but Josef Martinez had other ideas. His two goals in stoppage time turned things into a blowout and got the team a much needed three points.

Saturday brought the Chicago Fire to town but Atlanta United would show them real heat. Josef Martinez didn’t waste much time netting his third goal in 15 minutes of game action early on to give Atlanta the 1-0 lead.

Atlanta would have multiple chances and late in the half Josef would score another.

Some clutch defensive plays and Brad Guzan saves would be all the team needed to secure the 2-0 victory.

It was a good professional victory to put Atlanta on top of the Eastern Conference table monetarily. With the DC United draw later, they would forge ahead.

The two goals brought Josef’s total to 10 on the season. He’s currently tied for second in MLS with Zlatan but six behind Carlos Vela who may threaten the record set just last year by Martinez.

Atlanta heads into the international break with 26 points. DC United is “ahead” with 27 but they have played 2 more games.

After a dismal start, the team is gelling and is in position to win the conference. Supporter’s Shield isn’t completely out of the question but it would take a supreme effort or collapse from LAFC to get in that conversation.

The side will enjoy almost a month off from league play with the next match not until June 26th in Toronto.

However, June 11th US Open Play 4th round action opens with a trip to Charleston and several players will be with their respective nations for International Duty.

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Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG


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