After last weeks win at home over the New England Revolution, thanks to Franco Escobar’s solo goal Atlanta United are back in action as they get set to take on the Philadelphia Union tomorrow at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 P.M. on ESPN2.
Both squads are coming off close wins, but both teams stories of advancing to the second round are very different. Atlanta United won a tight and intense battle over the Revolution by the result of 1-0 while the Philadelphia Union had to come back all the way from 3-1 down to defeat the Red Bulls in Extra Time by a final result of 4-3.
It was a crazy and goal packed first round in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a total of 27 goals scored in the first weekend! If Atlanta want to keep their season alive and continue the journey for a third treble this 2019 season, they will need to majorly improve from their performance on Saturday as the Union will not be an easy task at all, especially after coming down from 2 goals down to win this past Sunday.
Atlanta will be a bit shorthanded on the defensive side coming into Thursday’s match as Michael Parkhurst and Miles Robinson are out with injuries. Parkhurst suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s win over the Revolution in stoppage time while Robinson is still unavailable with his hamstring/quad injury he suffered while with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
This means United will now be very thin at the centerback position to go along with LGP who is on the verge of another suspension due to yellow card accumulation, a reoccurring problem he’s had numerous times this season. Florentin Pogba, Franco Escobar and Jeff Larentowicz will also be available at the centerback position to fill in any voids, but United cannot afford many more injuries or suspensions defensively as the position is getting thinner and thinner with backup players.
Another question coming from many United fans is where is Pity Martinez? He did not start Saturday’s playoff match and was on the bench, but never was subbed on. Recently, according to head coach Frank De Boer, Pity has not been as productive and prepared for United’s upcoming playoff matches, Emerson Hyndman got the start over Pity Martinez in Atlanta’s first playoff fixture. Expect De Boer to sub on Pity Martinez in the second half if things start heading sideways or if their is no real progress in United’s play throughout the game, hopefully that does not happen.
On the opposing side, Philadelphia Union players Alejandro Bedoya and Kacper Przybylko are questionable to play in tomorrow’s match. Two key players could miss the match as Bedoya is undeniably the Union’s leader and captain while Przybylko has been the Union’s top scoring player during the regular season. Both will likely be game time decisions and their status will determine how Philadelphia approaches going to play in such a hostile environment like the Benz.
Atlanta United are back in action as they get set to take on the Philadelphia Union tomorrow at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 P.M. on ESPN2. VAMOS UNITED!!!
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Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG