This is not Goodbye

atlsportshq

With sadness I am announcing that ATLSportsHQ.com will be decommissioned in the coming days. 

 

With years of hard work and dedication from many writers and contributors, the ATLSportsHQ.com URL brought a new era of sports coverage in Atlanta sports.

Unfortunately the momentum was unsustainable. Thank you to the dozens of talented writers that have lend a hand to making this site more successful than I ever imagined possible.

From the starting crew of Nate, Garrett, Malik, Daric and others, to the late coming saviors of Bob, Andrew, Reeves and many many more, and E for giving us a shot on air radio; I’d like to thank you for making the dream of having a sports website possible.

The ATLSportsHQ brand is going nowhere.

Please subscribe to our YouTube and iTunes for multi-media Atlanta sports coverage as well as all our team specific Twitter pages.

Hawks: @ATLHawks_Talk

Falcons: BirdsInTheBenz

United: @SSSATLUTD

Georgia Tech: @WreckHavocATL

UGA : @ATLSportCollege

Braves: @ChopUpChopDown3

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/atl-sports-hq-live/id1444668130?mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3fuVeq1xnP2o8eiiRAIVEd

Subscribe to our channel

 

Please support our shows and tweets as we look to continue to bring Atlanta sports coverage. For the fans, By the fans.

Phil Veasley

MLS Playoff Preview: The Conference Semis for Atlanta United begins with a match at home vs. the Philadelphia Union.

031719-ATLvPHI-AJR099-copy
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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!!!

Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.

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

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

image-5

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.

MLS Playoff Recap: Playoff Prime Franco Escobar’s goal puts Atlanta through to the next round in a 1-0 victory over New England.

franco-escobar-atlanta-new-england
si.com

The photo above pretty much sums up every single Atlanta United’s fan reaction when Franco Escobar came up clutch again in the playoffs for his team as his lonely goal gave them the victory in a close and tense first round playoff match against the New England Revolution. Atlanta United came into Saturday’s playoff match undefeated against the Revolution defeating the side 4 times in 6 matched played between the two sides along with two draws, now make that 5 wins in 7 matches played and a ticket to the next round of the MLS Cup Playoffs against the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, November 24th on ESPN2 at 8:00 PM from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

It was for sure not an easy and smooth victory though for the 5-Stripes as the match stayed scoreless for about 70 minutes until Escobar found the opener and winning goal with a nice finish past the GK into the roof of the net with a helpful assist by teammate Ezequiel Barco.

Brad Guzan played a big factor as well with six important saves including a few which were very close to finding there way past him, but it never happened and he received Man of the Match for his league leading 15th clean sheet of the season.

Another key factor to United’s win was the captain himself, Michael Parkhurst who was replacing the injured Miles Robinson who was out with an injury, Robinson’s status for the next match is questionable for now, but we hope to have him back as Parkhurst suffered a dislocated shoulder which will put him out for about 2 weeks.

It was unfortunate to see him go down as Parkhurst was having a pretty good game defensive wise with accurate sliding tackles and clearances. Substitutions of Florentin Pogba and Tito Villalba were also a big help with Justin Meram and Emerson Hyndman being replaced as it brought a new boost of energy and pace down the left side for the remainder of the game.

Playoff Franco once again showed how capable of a player he is in big moments as we all saw in last years playoff run to winning the Cup. In a knockout match at the Benz, United came up victorious and now look on to prepare and devise a new strategy to take on the Philadelphia Union at home Thursday, October 24th. Look for a preview article of that playoff match in the coming days. VAMOS UNITED!!!

Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.

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

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

image-5

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.

MLS Playoff Preview: Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution

ATLUTD_Toronto_KH_10222017-172 (1) (2)
atlutd.com

The MLS Playoffs have arrived! That means today at 1 PM inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium it will be rocking as the playoff intensity atmosphere of the 17’s will be in full force as second seed in the Eastern Conference and defending MLS Cup Champs Atlanta United get set to take on the visiting seventh seed New England Revolution.

These two teams met each other about two weeks ago in the final match of the MLS regular season in which Atlanta United took a 3-1 victory at home and after the recent international break the two squads set to face off each other again.

With the United side recharged and prepared for Saturday’s match after days of non-stop training the past week this team should be ready to go head on and open the doors quickly with frequent counter attacks and immediately putting pressure on the Revolution’s defense. If United can get a head start and find the back of the net early on, then the momentum change will be in their favor as early goals can make set the tempo for the rest of the match which is very important. From there, the plan should remain the same and if we can outscore the Revolution by a 2 or 3-0 lead at the half, then Atlanta should be set for a much more comfortable second half although we have see in the past these leads can turnaround and come back to bite you in the last minute so the teams focus and awareness needs to be alert at all times.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s best center back this year Miles Robinson will be unavailable for the playoff match as he is out with an injury he suffered while away with the U.S. Men’s National Team. With that hampering some of De Boer’s plans defensively, we will likely see Michael Parkhurst get put in the Starting XI as the captain announced this will be his final season of playing professional soccer. Florentin Pogba is also an option, but he likely will not start or even play as he was away with his National Team of Guinea and missed most of the clubs training in the past week or so. Expect Atlanta United to go for a 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-2 formation as those are the two they have used frequently during the course of the regular season.

With the match just hours away from kick-off we expect another great performance at the Benz by our beloved 5-Stripes and a fantastic showing of support from the 17’s in the stands in what should be an exciting and electrifying single elimination playoff match, lets go get a victory boys!!! VAMOS UNITED!!!

Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.

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

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

image-5

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.

Match Recap: Atlanta United defeat the New England Revolution in final match of the regular season.

usa_today_12529837
dirtysouthsoccer.com

In Atlanta United’s final match of the regular season under an open roof vs. the New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium the 5-Stripes put on a show for the fans in a 3-1 victory filled with playoff implications and a possible rematch between these two opponents in the future during the MLS playoffs. Atlanta came into the match tied in 2nd place with the Philadelphia Union (55 points) and New England in 7th place. A win would seal United’s place in 2nd over the Union and that is exactly what went down at the Benz on Sunday.

Atlanta United found the opener early on in the 3rd minute with Darlington Nagbe finding the opener off an assist from Julian Gressel, he would go on to have a huge day later on. Not long though later in about 5 minutes the Revolution would equalize off a goal from Christian Penilla, making the result all even at 1-1.

In the second United would get off to another great start early with the king himself making his return to the starting lineup as he scored his 27th goal of the season off another assist from Julian Gressel and giving Atlanta back the lead in the 49th minute. Less than 10 minutes later Julian himself would find the back of the net with a rocket volley off the post, doubling United’s lead to 3-1. Without question or debate Julian Gressel was Man of the Match as he took part in all 3 of Atlanta United’s goals in the victory over New England. Michael Parkhurst would later come on for Julian Gressel and would receive a loud standing ovation from the 17’s fans, a great way to close out the match as Parkhurst announced this would be his last season of his career, Thank You Captain! Atlanta would go on to win by a final result of 3-1 and finishing 2nd place in the Eastern Conference Standings.

Atlanta United’s next match will be in two weeks as they face off in a rematch vs. New England at the Benz in the first round of the MLS playoffs. VAMOS UNITED!

Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.

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

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

ATLUTD Shake the Quakes – But at what Cost?

th (38)
prosoccerusa.com

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.

th (29)
news-daily.com

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
ESPN.com

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)

 

Stay with ATLSportsHQ for full United coverage and all things Atlanta sports.

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

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

 

With Wednesday’s Win on the road in Cincy, Atlanta look to rattle the San Jose Earthquakes at the Benz on Saturday.

5ba3712acc7f5.image
gwinnettdailypost.com

Let’s flashback to Wednesday night when Atlanta United traveled up North to Cincy to take on the newest and worst team in MLS this season, F.C. Cincinnati. United were looking to bounce back in this away match after their disappointing loss at home to the Crew to keep their hopes alive of finishing in the top spot of the Eastern Conference Standings. This match was a must win for the 5-Stripes to keep up pace with the two teams standing in their way ahead of them, the Philadelphia Union in 2nd place and NYCFC in 1st place. Finishing 1st in the East would guarantee home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye. At home, United are almost unbeatable with the rowdy 17’s playing a factor in the role of being the 12th man with their non-stop 90 minute loud support with various chants and songs developed by the a variety of United Supporters Groups. Like we all saw last year in the playoffs, nobody wants to come down here and play in Atlanta as every team was dominated against from the first match vs. NYCFC, then those annoying Red Bulls and finally in the MLS Cup Final against Portland, anyway back to the match recap.

The first half was basically a struggle to stay awake kind of half with minimal chances being created by both sides and mostly being a battle of possession for almost the entire first 45 minute of the first half. Gressel had two great chances but both missed the target and Guzan made a huge save on the line off a header from Van der Werff to keep the score at 0-0 heading into the lockeroom. This all would change in the second half when Josef Martinez would score a pair of goals within just 6 minutes! The fisrt one would come in the 59th minute when Pity Martinez played a perfect through ball towards Josef leaving him one on one with the goalie and just like he does best, he finished the shot with a powerful finish past the GK, making it 1-0 for the good guys. In the 65th minute, Josef would double United’s lead with an excellent curling finish with his left foot into the back of the net, his goal made the #1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 on Thursday and keeps himself within distance of capturing the golden boot for a second straight season. Right now, Carlos Vela leads the way with 28 goals and Josef Martinez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are tied with 26, this race is tight and far from being over.

Atlanta United’s next upcoming match will be on Saturday, September 21st at home vs. San Jose Earthquakes in what should be a good matchup between two teams in the mix for high playoff positions in their respectable conferences. In just only two of their previous fixtures in the past two seasons both games have combined for 13 goals! United won the first match back in 2017 at Bobby Dodd by a 4-2 result and then in the second fixture last season who could forget that epic late night comeback by Atlanta in San Jose to overturn a 3-1 deficit and win the game in the last seconds of stoppage time by a final result of 4-3, glad I stayed up for that one. Atlanta United sit in 3rd place with 51 points, one behind the Philadelphia Union with 52 points in 2nd place and six behind NYCFC with 57 points in 1st place while San Jose sit in 6th place with 44 points fighting for one of the final playoff spots with other teams like F.C. Dallas and the Portland Timbers who are not far behind them in the Western Conference Standings. Saturday’s fixture should be an intense and fast paced one with both teams having something to play for as the regular season is coming to a close, who knows we might get another high scoring thriller, just with as having more goals then them. VAMOS UNITED!

The match between Atlanta United and San Jose Earthquakes will be on Saturday, September 21st at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with expected kickoff around 3:30 and will be live on the Univision Network.

Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.

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

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

image-5

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.