This is not Goodbye

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

 

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Phil Veasley

A positive way to go out for United in CCL and MLS Match Preview

Photo Credit: fulbox.com

Here are some words to describe Atlanta United’s performance last night… MUCH, MUCH, BETTER.

United came out on top last night at the Benz with a 1-0 victory over Monterrey in the second leg of the CCL Quarterfinals.

Even though United were unfortunately eliminated on aggregate by a final total result of both games combined (3-1) for Monterrey, we saw many promising signs last night that this team is still the best team in MLS, undisputed.

Atlanta United were the first MLS team EVER to beat Monterrey, one of the bigger and better clubs from Mexico. Atlanta was definitely the better team last night, everywhere on the pitch the players were committed to doing their job, well let’s just say it was mission accomplished last night. United could have possibly scored enough goals to tie on aggregate, with chances created by Pity Martinez and Josef Martinez throughout last night’s game. Unfortunately many of those chances were saved incredibly by Monterrey GK Marcelo Barravero who kept his team from being at risk of blowing their 3-0 lead with saves on Josef Martinez’s chance early in the game and Pity Martinez’s incredible strike from distance.

United did find the breakthrough though in the 77th minute of the game with a goal from Josef Martinez to give Atlanta the one goal lead and would be the only score of the night in United’s victory.

Despite being eliminated, there are many positives that should be noted in last night’s win. We still have the rest of the long MLS Season to look forward to in which we should still be the undeniable favorites to win back-to-back MLS Cups and maybe even the Supporters Shield.

U.S. Open Cup will also be arriving in the near future so United still have plenty of opportunities to claim another title for the city of Atlanta. With the resilient effort from this team and passion and support coming from the 17’s in the stands we have plenty to look forward to as the young season advances for our 5-Stripes. We will be back CONCACAF Champions League very, very soon.

Photo Credit: mlsmultiplex.com

Next up for Atlanta United is a matchup against the Philadelphia Union this Sunday, March 17th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 7 P.M.

All time United is 3-1-0 against Philadelphia with 3 wins and 1 draw so United have had the edge over the Union since our entrance into MLS.

On paper, United should easily take care of the Union with minimal to no problems, but don’t underestimate this Union side as they have experienced players like GK Andre Blake who’s debatably the best GK in the league, U.S. International Alejandro Bedoya and Mexican International and new signing Marco Fabian could cause some problems if they are able to play their kind of game which they want.

United needs to disrupt that and cause problems for Union’s defense if they can create a lot of pressure up front. Philadelphia’s defense is not the best so it should not be very difficult for United to cause chaos early in the game for Union’s defense with the likes of Barco and Pity Martinez on the wings and Josef Martinez up front this three man tag team should be, at least on paper one of the best front 3’s in the MLS.

Everything Atlanta did against Monterrey, they need to do against Philadelphia to have the kind of success they had on Wednesday. This team can score goals and take over a game in minutes, this will be a big confidence booster if United can perform a decisive game against Philadelphia.

With a decisive win on Sunday United will get their first win of the MLS Season and have a total of 4 points in the Eastern Conference Table with 1 Win, 1 Draw and 1 Loss so far in 3 games.

Plenty of Soccer is left to play so places in the standings should not even be a worry right now at all. Things will change frequently not just for United but for other MLS teams as well.

Special shoutout to Miles Robinson, this guy has played his mind off so far this season and in my opinion right now he’s the best defender right now with his impressive performances, he is already getting much more playing time under FDB than with Tata Martino. Florentin Pogba made his Atlanta United debut last night coming off the bench for captain Michael Parkhurst getting around some playing time of around 15-20 minutes. We hope to see Franco Escobar back with the team soon as we expect him to return around this time in Mid-March, he will help out our defense significantly. 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

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Atlanta United Draw with FC Cincinnati in MLS Home Opener and CCL Match Preview

Photo Credit: http://www.middletownpress.com

Atlanta United’s home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw vs F.C. Cincinnati.

In reality Sunday’s match really felt like a loss to the players and many disgruntled and frustrated United fans. Many expressed their opinions last night and today on social media, fan interviews and local Atlanta sports radio stations about how Head Coach Frank De Boer’s system and tactical approaches are not working at all ever since the season began with CONCACAF Champions League.

In the game recap, United were off and running early as Golden Boot and Reigning MVP Josef Martinez opened up the scoring in the 5th minute, with ease he powered the ball past the goalie and into the back of the net. From there it seemed like Atlanta United just flipped the off switch on for the rest of the game. United dominated the possession with over 66% for the whole game, but chances and goal scoring opportunities were very lackluster. Although there were some close calls in moments of the game for possibly scoring up to more than three goals if United were able to execute correctly.

Unfortunately all of these missed chances would come back to haunt United at the end of the game as Roland Lamah scored the equalizer in the 86th minute for F.C. Cincinnati.

It’s now a crucial time to start thinking about the mountain United have to try to climb and overcome on Wednesday night down 3-0 on aggregate to Monterrey.

Photo Credit: mercedesbenzstadium.com

Moving on to CCL, United have an uphill task ahead of them this Wednesday as they take on Monterrey at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 P.M. The game will be televised live on Univision Deportes and will be available to live stream on the Yahoo Sports website and Yahoo Sports App.

Going into the second leg of the CCL quarterfinals Atlanta are down 3-0 on aggregate after they suffered a devastating defeat last week in Mexico. That’s one to forget as United’s performance was very poor on both sides of the ball, but now it’s time to move on, flip the page and look forward to Wednesday’s match.

Us fans would obviously expect a 100% full effort from the players in this elimination threatening game, but it will be interesting to see how this team reacts after dropping points at home which were very preventable and of course being given short recovery and preparation time the players will likely still be fatigued.

Now though, it’s no time for excuses and explanations, the talking will do itself on the pitch as we hope this team can keep learning from their mistakes and start to get better. That is if De Boer will allow them to be the attacking team they are designed to be and capable of scoring goals as we saw in our previous championship season. Hopefully this will be a wake up call because United needs it now. 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

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Be sure to tune into GameTime Radio Sunday Evenings at 6PM to hear E-Dub, Bob and Phil discuss all things sports! GameTime Radio can be heard live in Atlanta on 1100 AM, on Facebook Live, iHeartRadio or TuneIn. Also available OnDemand in the iTunes Podcasts App.

CCL Recap and Preview for Atlanta’s MLS home opener vs. FC Cincinnati

Photo Credit: depor.com

Atlanta United’s CONCACAF Champions League Title hopes took a huge and likely devastating blow.

Last night, Frank De Boer’s squad took a thrashing at the hands of Monterrey. The final score was a 3-0 victory for the home side. Nicolas Sanchez would open up the scoring in the 17th minute with a penalty kick conversion. The final two goals were scored by Monterrey in a combined time of about four minutes as Dorlan Pabon and Jesus Gallardo would score to finish off the game in what was another disappointing performance by the 5-Stripes.

Frank De Boer will have a lot of critics now with the first three of his four games being losses and his team conceding a total amount of 9 goals in both competitions.

Atlanta’s return leg will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday, March 13 at 8 P.M.  United now have a huge mountain to climb now being down in aggregate 3-0 and are staring in the face of elimination from CCL unless a miraculous comeback can be done just like we saw in two UEFA Champions League games this week. A comeback is possible and if United can get on the right foot early and be confident as well as excited to play at home for the 1st time since winning MLS Cup with the 17’s behind their backs fully supporting and singing until the final whistle, don’t count em out just yet!

Photo Credit: mercedesbenzstadium.com

Atlanta United will play their first MLS home game of the season against FC Cincinnati which will be on Sunday, March 10 at 5 P.M. and will be live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be rocking on Sunday as Atlanta United returns home to play in the World Class stadium for the first time in almost 3 months since winning MLS Cup back in December.

This has been United’s fortress over the past season in which very little competition has come out of MBS with all three points. This Sunday’s game must be a turnaround game for Atlanta United, this team needs a big boost of confidence and teamwork coordination and what not a better place to play then at home because so far this season the road games have been a struggle.

United’s opponent FC Cincinnati is coming off playing it’s first inaugural game in MLS history in a 4-1 loss up in the Pacific Northwest vs. the Seattle Sounders. Tough way to know that your first two games of the season will be at the most hostile and electric environments in all of Major League Soccer, Welcome to MLS Cincinnati.

On another note former United Left-Back Greg Garza who joined FC Cincinnati this offseason is doubtful to play against his former teammates as a hip injury he suffered with the U.S. Men’s National Team back in January has kept him out since, we wish Greg Garza a fast and speedy recovery from his injury!

It is also unknown whether Julian Gressel will be available on Sunday after he suffered an injury in training on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s game vs Monterrey and Franco Escobar’s timetable return from his injury is still questionable as well.

Photo Credit: http://www.prosoccerusa.com

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

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Be sure to tune into GameTime Radio Sunday Evenings at 6PM to hear E-Dub, Bob and Phil discuss all things sports! GameTime Radio can be heard live in Atlanta on 1100 AM, on Facebook Live, iHeartRadio or TuneIn. Also available OnDemand in the iTunes Podcasts App.

United vs United recap and preview for Wednesday’s CCL clash against Monterrey

Photo Credit: MSN/Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night was a night to forget for Atlanta United fans and players.

We’ll make this recap short and sweet for everyone because overall there wasn’t many positives from Sunday Night’s game.

Atlanta kicked off their MLS season in a rainy and cold Washington D.C. as they looked to steal points before a mid-week on Wednesday in Mexico vs Monterrey. United’s starting XI on Sunday consisted of most of the first team players we saw play in last week’s victory over Herediano which was a surprise to many as we expected De Boer to rest his starters for the upcoming CCL game on Wednesday. Pity Martinez and Julian Gressel both came off the bench around the 60th minute after D.C. United scored their second goal of the game.

Atlanta United could never find a rhythm at all as every chance of a possible counter attack or goal scoring opportunity was thwarted and ended unsuccessfully. It wasn’t pretty to watch. D.C. open up the scoring in stoppage time of the first half off a corner which was crossed into the box by Wayne Rooney, received by Luciano Acosta in which he tapped the ball in open space towards Paul Arriola. Without hesitation Arriola scored the first goal of the game. We all saw it was coming with the numerous chances D.C. United had earlier in which they were saved by GK Brad Guzan or went wide.

Atlanta’s struggles with defending set pieces was a cause of giving up the first goal and shows they still need to improve in that flaw.

The second goal comes in the 58th minute as Luciano Acosta’s strike from outside the box took an awkward bounce to the right off the soaked and unbalanced pitch as it skipped by past Brad Guzan, very unlucky goal to concede.

Atlanta United’s fitness and preparedness will now be a big question coming into Wednesday’s game as this team will face it’s hardest challenge yet.

Photo Credit: bolavip.com

Atlanta United will take on Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals on Wednesday March 6th at 10 P.M. E.T from the Estadio BBVA Bancomer in Monterrey, Mexico.

With names like Mexican International Miguel Layun, Argentine nationals like Rogelio Funes Mori and Maximiliano Meza and Colombian goal scorer Dorlan Pabon, the United defense will have their hands full trying to stop and contain these dangerous players who can create havoc on the field for the opposition if not taken seriously.

Monterrey are 3-time CCL Champions all of these titles were won three straight times between the 2010 and 2013 competitions so they are very experienced in CONCACAF play.

Monterrey barley defeated Salvadorian team Alianza in which the aggregate finished only 1-0 for the Mexican side. Nicolas Sanchez’s penalty conversion in the 86th minute of the 2nd leg was just enough to get Monterrey through to the next stage, but now with greater competition coming up against the defending MLS Cup Champions, Monterrey will surely try to play with all their strength and try to make a statement against Atlanta.

Despite the limited and short amount of rest and recovery time there is no time for excuses. United have had these weeks in the past MLS seasons where they have had to play three games in seven days so this should be nothing new for United’s players.

Atlanta United players Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst expressed their feelings after the game about what is to come. Both had similar responses in saying we need to be ready for anything no matter what condition we are in and how tired and exhausted we are. Both know that this game will be very difficult so everyone has to be mentally and physically ready.

The squad practiced Monday morning in D.C. before flying later to Monterrey. Hopefully once again Atlanta United proves they will bounce back after another loss like they always do, but this will be the hardest one not to lose to for sure.

Photo Credit: http://www.aiakc.org

Fans can watch and follow the CCL Competition and Atlanta United play on the Yahoo Sports website or by using the Yahoo Sports App on your device. Games will also be broadcasted and shown live on Univision Deportes. 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

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Atlanta United advance to the CCL Quarterfinals

Photo Credit: The Futbol Times

It was a sigh of relief for Atlanta United fans on Thursday night.

The reigning MLS Cup Champions overcame a 3-1 deficit at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw to complete a comeback and win 4-0 against Costa Rican team Herediano.

Atlanta United will now move on to the Quarterfinals and play against Liga MX giants Monterrey, Nickname “Rayados” meaning “The Striped Ones” referring to their Dark Blue Navy and White striped jerseys. The dates and fixtures have been announced for both legs. United will travel for the first leg in Monterrey, Mexico on Wednesday, March 6th kickoff is set for 10 P.M. ET and the second leg will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Wednesday, March 13th. Kickoff for this game is set for 8 P.M. ET. Both games will be available to live stream on the Yahoo Sports website and Yahoo Sports App for those who want English commentary and will be televised on Univision Sports for those who prefer Spanish Commentary.

Photo Credit: http://www.jacksonprogress-argus.com

It didn’t take long for Atlanta to get their first goal as in just under 50 seconds the reigning MVP Josef Martinez capitalized on a missed clearance by the defender from the low driven cross of Brek Shea and Josef struck the ball in the back of the net without any hesitation. From their Atlanta were well on their way to a convincing victory. The second goal came from Julian Gressel about 8 minutes later in the 9th minute as a reverse pass from Ezequiel Barco came to the feet of Gressel who took a touch and strikes the ball in the bottom corner on the left side of the goal.

United tied the aggregate to 3-3 with the away goal in Costa Rica doing a big favor in that moment. In the 63rd minute Josef Martinez would get his second goal of the night assisted by Brek Shea who had a great performance. Shea would receive a great pass up field from midfielder Eric Remedi and easily Shea would pass the ball into the box with Martinez wide open and finishing on the wide open goal making it 3-0.

Finally, the icing on the cake came from centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez as a great cross from Barco led to LGP rising up to win the header and aim at goal making the result 4-0 for Atlanta in the 83rd minute sealing the deal for the 5-Stripes and booking them a spot in the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Photo Credit: http://www.rockdalenewtoncitizen.com

Honorable mentions go to players like Brek Shea and Ezequiel Barco.

Shea was able to get the ball in the box for United’s first goal which allowed Martinez to pounce on a deflected ball by a defender which opened up the scoring and floodgates for United to pile up more. Shea would assist once again Martinez on the third goal making Atlanta’s lead in the game a comfortable 3-0, overall he played very well in his debut for United as he looks to possibly get himself in the Starting XI for the most of the season.

Deservably, Ezequiel Barco was Man of the Match last night with 2 assists on Gressel’s goal to make it 2-0 and on a cross in which LGP’s header made it 4-0 closing the night off with a statement. The record MLS signing had a night to remember.

Midfield and Defensive performances were much better as well with Herediano applying very little pressure and being contained with a very limited amount of shots. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan had a great save in stoppage time at the end to keep a clean sheet.

Although the referee did not make calls which should have been obvious foul calls and possibly even a red card with Barco being tackled from behind on a clear goal opportunity late in the first half, United were able to maintain and keep their cool allowing them to finish off the game with no other problems.

This performance by Atlanta United reminded us of glimpses and flashbacks from the championship team last season, that this team has the talent, capability and strength to go challenge anybody in their way and give a full team effort to get the performance and most importantly the victory they want.

Next up, Atlanta will open their MLS Season in D.C. as they take on Wayne Rooney and D.C. United Sunday, March 3 at 6 P.M. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. 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

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Be sure to tune into GameTime Radio Sunday Evenings at 6PM to hear E-Dub, Bob and Phil discuss all things sports! GameTime Radio can be heard live in Atlanta on 1100 AM, on Facebook Live, iHeartRadio or TuneIn. Also available OnDemand in the iTunes Podcasts App.

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Can Atlanta United get redemption in Kennesaw?

Last Thursday night surely took Atlanta United fans by surprise, as it frankly should have, it was an embarrassment for the MLS Cup Champions. Yet for some, the 3-1 loss led to a complete overreaction that I felt was unwarranted. Naturally the criticism exploded all over the timeline from both national pundits and the Five Stripe faithful alike. They had just seen MLS’ best shot at ending the league’s CONCACAF Champions League heartbreak fall at the first hurdle.

Disappointment is an understatement, especially when you have the most talented roster in MLS and replace Miguel Almiron with the South American Player of the Year, stuff that just doesn’t happen in MLS. That’s why things with Atlanta United are, were, supposed to be different. That is why last week’s social media meltdown was warranted…to an extent. Maybe the expectations were too high going into a matchup that saw a team still kind of in preseason mode and all the things that come with it, playing a side that while in rough shape domestically, was still playing their 10th game of the regular season and match fit physically. Those watching saw a team that was ready to play vs one who looked like they forgot there was a game.

It was a rough watch but I still felt, given the external factors, the social media reaction was a bit much. Everything from the playing surface, to the exposure to new environment and competition that is CCL, to lack of match fitness and cohesion within the Frank de Boer’s new system. It is all a lot to prepare for in just under a month which is why my message to ATLSportsHQ’s Atlanta United followers was pretty much to relax…

R-E-L-A-X

Hell yeah Atlanta United can turn this thing around. The team is considered the most talented in MLS history for a reason. The attacking repertoire alone is intimidating for any visiting side. Sure, it sucks that Monster JAM is occupying MBS for this week(of all the weeks) but dirt is hard to transport/remove and these contractually obligated things are part of the reason Uncle Arthur has the money to spend on buying players like Pity Martinez and that PHAT new Josef contract. So get over the fact we don’t get to use our homefield advantage like Herediano did.

but how do the Five Stripes go about climbing out of the 3-1 hole they dug themselves into?

First, here are the numbers, straight forward…

atl-her
Credit: MLSsoccer.com

…not very pretty huh. That’s how deep the hole is.

Let us discuss.

Find the Cohesion

The performance last week was disjointed, unorganized and the players just looked lost. When you are lost in the system de Boer implements, massive gaps like the ones displayed in Costa Rica happen. The team has been tasked with transitioning from a familiar man-marking system to a predominantly zonal-marking system. Zonal-marking has its benefits but when you aren’t yet comfortable within it, the indecision in real time becomes obvious and costly, things like 4 on 0 breakaways occur and the ball ends up in the back of your own goal. The backline looked out of sorts and I’m not sure it helped that Parky was kind of left out to dry, isolated at right centerback in a back 3. Miles Robinson was arguably Atlanta’s best player last week in that central role and while I have confidence he has a future in that spot–as sort of a sweeper to an extent– it’s not the proper time to have him there, especially when that is a position that highlights a defender’s ability to read the game and his surroundings. That ability is by far Michael Parkhurst’s biggest asset at this point in his career but I’m also not sure Parkhurst can physically play anywhere else in that back 3 than centrally. It isolates him in spots that display his weaknesses, as shown on Thursday. So I would propose that FdB should switch Parky and Robinson until they have time to make further judgments regarding that setup permanently. Remember that Atlanta has to put their best foot forward to overcome this 3-1 deficit, there is a lot resting on this second leg here. Cohesion is something that forms through practice and perfected over time yet Atlanta United doesn’t really have that kind of time. I doubt this ever happens but I would not be opposed to allowing the players to play a system they are comfortable with until they properly implement FdB’s system. Let them play a 3-5-2 or a 4-2-3-1, something that Atlanta is comfortable and proficient playing in until they are out of this predicament. This team is built perfectly to at least try a makeshift 4-2-3-1 and  the players certainly remember how Tata’s system worked, not a permanent solution, just something to get them through Thursday and stay alive in the competition, so they can familiarize themselves with FdB’s sytem. Yet like I said I doubt that happens because managers simply do not work like that, you won’t see it happen but if it does, you heard it here first. Regardless, Atlanta needs to show up and show out on Thursday if they want to keep their 2019 CCL hopes alive, that part is obvious. Captain Michael Parkhurst said the team had a good week of practice which is promising to hear but quotes don’t reverse 3-1 deficits.

Return to Old Ways

Atlanta United’s initial identity as a team and a key factor whenever mentioning the Five Stripes at home has always been a team that starts fast and puts games to bed before the other team can blinks. Even as they shy’d away from it last season and in the playoffs, went to a more defensive-minded approach that allowed its attacking talent to get into space on the counter and punish teams who made mistakes in the midfield or over-commitment. The approach was just an approach, the identity to the general public was still the “High-flying Atlanta United” that puts on a show and can put the game away before the visitors are even off the bus. The players and ability is still there to come out flying at breakneck pace. They were even given a taste of their own medicine last week when Herediano came out like screamin’ banshees and were 2-0 up before Atlanta realized they were playing. One of the keys for Atlanta is to come out looking dangerous, put Herdeiano on their back foot and make them feel pressure. The classic matchup between an underdog with something to lose against a heavy favorite looking to reverse a previous scoreline usually turns into a attack vs defense exercise and more often than not when the favorite scores, the underdogs will roll over and succumb to the pressure. Even history shows in this competition, first leg deficits can be reversed at flip of a hat and looks comfortable a the end of the day for the team who starts out in a deficit. The Five Stripes have to play this game the opposite of how they did last Thursday, everything went wrong and it’s one of the worst performances I have ever seen from Atlanta United but the talent is there for a turn around. Yet having the ability is one thing, putting it to proper use is another.

Atlanta United desperately needs to have a fast start to get things going in the right direction and set the tone for their season. This club has not lost consecutive games since its inaugural season but it is once again in danger of allowing it to happen disastrously at the start of a new era. If they fail to turn it around, so be it, get to work on defending your MLS Cup. The problem is that also starts this Sunday against DC United, a team that has had our number despite even when they were bad. Now they are good and looking to prove a point. That rough first leg cost Atlanta an opportunity to sort of relax in the home leg and prepare for the MLS Opener. Instead, they have the chance to turn around a 3-1 deficit in a new competition for the club and that could be a genius coming of age moment or a massive letdown. Should Atlanta fail to advance in CCL AND be forced to play a vulnerable, rotated squad in their MLS opener, things could get ugly fast in just 3 games under Frank de Boer given his last few stops as manager.

Not a good look.

Yet I have faith Atlanta can get the job done. This team has too much talent to be as bad as they were last week on a regular basis. This new-look Atlanta United just needs time to gel and maybe they needed that wake-up call as they have the past two seasons. But if Atlanta United truly wants to be the club that sets every new benchmark for MLS clubs, it has to be dominant in CCL. That starts on Thursday night. It is still a home match in front of the home crowd, in a place where the players have played before and won convincingly. Fifth-Third Bank Stadium should still provide a hostile environment for the visitors. The stands are close to the field and will provide a similar atmosphere to Bobby Dodd, allowing the players to feel the passion and emotion of the fans, something that has proven to give the players a massive lift in the past. An early goal would go a long way in shifting momentum to the home side early on and helping Atlanta reverse the deficit and advance to the next leg of the competition. After all it is CONCACAF Champions League, the ultimate display of shenanigans, anything can and will happen.

 

How to Watch

Where: Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw, GA

How: Yahoo Sports (ENG), Univision Deportes(ESP)

When: 8PM EST