Phillip Veasley – ATLUTD Shake the Quakes – But at what Cost?

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Atlanta United got a big three points Saturday, but lost Josef Martinez in the process.

Yes, we got the much needed win. But let’s get right to what everyone is talking about. Star Striker, Josef Martinez is hurt and the scoring streak is over at 15. The King would have to sub out several minutes after sustaining an apparent knee injury in the 79th minute. Early speculations do not sound good but nothing official has been released by the club. If Josef is unable to participate in the playoffs, it would likely mean an early exit for the Defending MLS Champs.

After demoralizing a timid Cincinnati side in the 2nd half Wednesday, Atlanta would find themselves with their hands full against scrappy San Jose.

Justin Meram would open the scoring in just the 4th minute and it appeared that United were off to the races. Just over 20 minutes later though, the Quakes would equalize with an own goal that took an awkward deflection.

Atlanta would catch a huge break a few minutes later after Cristian Espinoza was sent off with his second yellow. This made San Jose irate but it appeared there was ill intent and even if Espinoza wasn’t already on yellow, there could’ve been an argument there for a straight red.

United would fail to capitalize being up a man for nearly a hour. Finally, after several marvelous saves from Daniel Vega, Emerson Hyndman found the game winner. Darlington Nagbe served a delicious ball to Hyndman who took advantage of Vega coming off his line. It was a moment of pure euphoria in the stadium who had been on pins and needles the majority of the afternoon.

Two minutes later, Pity Martinez added insurance with a goal of his own. Obviously, we will need to see this Pity if Josef is unable to return this season.

The win was United’s 11th in the last 14 games across all competitions who now sit at 54 Points and 2nd in the East.

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Scoring Breakdown

4′ ATL| Justin Meram | 1-0 ATL

27′ SJ | Brad Guzan (OG) | 1-1

90′ ATL | Emerson Hyndman | 2-1 ATL

90+2′ ATL | Pity Martinez | 3-1 ATL

Statistical Summary

Goals: Atlanta 3 | San Jose 1

Shots: Atlanta 18 | San Jose 3

Shots On Goal: Atlanta 12| San Jose 2

Possession: Atlanta 61% | San Jose 39%

Fouls: Atlanta 10| San Jose 15

Saves: Atlanta 2 | San Jose 9

Cards: Yellow: Emerson Hyndman, Justin Meram | ATL

Yellow: Cristian Espinoza, Daniel Vega, Judson| SJ|

Red: Cristian Espinoza, Chris Wondolowski | SJ

Attendance: 43,451

Current MLS Table

MLS Table

What’s up Next?

Atlanta United head to the Big Apple for a crucial match vs NYCFC. Depending on Sunday’s results, this could be a match to determine 1st place.

If NYCFC and Philadelphia lose Sunday, Atlanta would again be on the inside track for 1st place in the East.

NYCFC faces FC Dallas while the Union face New York Red Bulls. Both kick-off at 6PM. Be sure to head to @SSSATLUTD on Twitter after for a look at the updated table.

Unfortunately, the odds will be against the Five Stripes Wednesday with it appearing likely that Josef will not travel even if his injury is deemed minor.

With just three matches left and a compact playoff schedule, the grueling season is coming to a close. No matter what happens, this season has to be seen as a success.

The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast with Kevin Eagan and Dan Gargan.  On the go? Tune in to 92.9 and listen to Mike Conti and Jason Longshore’s call.

Gametime is set for 7PM at the back yard pitch. Oops, I meant Yankee Stadium.

Prediction: 3-1 NYCFC (assuming no Josef)

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Phillip Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter | @_ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG

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