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

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

Phil Veasley

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Today in the A: 3/24

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Trae Young

About Last Night

Hawks 129 | 76ers 127

Another day, another masterful performance from Trae Young. The ROY candidate poured in 32 Points and 11 Assists including 21 and 8 in the first half and the game winning floater. Here’s the raw video from Phil of the game winner!

Apolos 36 | Legends 6

There are no nice words to describe them so here’s Stephen A Smith.

What’s up Today

GameTimeRadio | 6:00 | 1100AM | FacebookLive

Join Bob, Phil and E-Dub for GameTime Radio as we discuss all things sports this week. GTRadio1100.com

ATLSportsHQLive | 8:45 | YouTube

Join Phil, Clark and Daric for a special edition of HQ Live.

Braves ST Vs Rays | 4:00

Just a few more tuneups for the Braves. Opening Day comes Thursday in Philly.

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Subscribe to our Youtube channel

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Listen to GameTimeRadio

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

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GTRadio1100.com

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.

 

Today in the A: 3/18

atlsportshq

No luck of the Irish on this day in Atlanta sports.

About Last Night

Atlanta United 1 | Philadelphia Union 1

Atlanta United is still winless on the MLS season. The lone goal came on a magnificent header by Barco in the 70th minute. Atlanta will finally get some rest after a grueling seven match in 24 day stretch. They look to get right after the international break.

Orlando Magic 101 | Atlanta Hawks 91

The Hawks couldn’t find any magic in Orlando as they struggled most of the evening to knock down shots. Trae managed 20 points. Up next is a duel with James Harden Tuesday at StateFarm Arena

Georgia State 73 | UT Arlington 64

The best college team in Georgia punched their ticket yet again to the Big Dance. State will enter as the 14 seed and play Houston on Thursday.

What’s up Today

Not much is going on Today in the A.

Braves Spring Training continues down in Florida and the Braves will announce the opening day starter.

Stay with ATLSportsHQ for all things Atlanta sports.

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

Listen to GameTimeRadio

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

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GTRadio1100.com

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.

Today in the A: March 17th

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!

A busy day in Atlanta Sports today!

About Last Night

Celtics 129 | Hawks 100

The Hawks overcame a 25 point deficit but ultimately faltered in the final minutes. Trae Young led the way with a very efficient 26 points on 10/16 shooting. John Collins recorded another Double-Double and Vince Carter continued to look younger and younger. Another impressive performance from our young Hawks.

Georgia State 59 | Texas Southern 46

Georgia State advances to yet another Sun Belt Final. Malik Benlivi led the way with 15 and 10. State was able to comfortably win even with D’Marcus Simonds struggling from the floor.

UT Arlington 67 | Georgia Southern 58

The Eagles saw their tournament hopes come to an end. They finish the season with an impressive 21-12 record.

What’s up Today

Georgia State vs UT Arlington | 2:00 | ESPN 2

Ron Hunter and the Panthers look to punch yet another ticket to the Big Dance. They may even have a chance at the NIT with a loss. They are the only team in Georgia with Postseason hopes yet again.

San Antonio Commanders at Atlanta Legends | 4:00 | CBSSN

The resurgent Atlanta Legneds look for their third straight victory at Georgia State Stadium. The Legends have looked much better since starting UGA Legned Aaron Murray. Follow @ATLSportsHQ for live coverage.

Hawks @ Magic | 6:00 | FSSE

Hawks look to avenge two terrible home losses to the Magic with their first trip to Disney of the year. Follow @ATLHawks_Talk for live coverage.

GameTimeRadio | 6:00 | 1100AM | FacebookLive

Join Bob, Phil and E-Dub for GameTime Radio as we discuss all things sports this week. GTRadio1100.com

Philadelphia Union @ Atlanta United | 7:00 | FSSO

With CCL out of the picture, Atlanta United shifts their focus back to MLS. Atlanta is in dire need of a win in front of the 17’s.  Follow @SSSATLUTD for live coverage.

Stay with ATLSportsHQ for all things Atlanta sports.

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Subscribe on iTunes

Listen to GameTimeRadio

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

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GTRadio1100.com

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.

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

 

 

5-Stripes sign MLS Veteran

On December 30th, Atlanta United FC announced the signing of free agent Brek Shea. The 28-year-old will be used mainly as a wing-back and a replacement for Greg Garza. Shea could also be a leader for Andrew Carleton and help develop him on and off the field. The American has lots of experience playing as he has played overseas for Stoke City and has 31 apperances for the United States National Team. It is unsure if Shea will be a starter or a key player off the bench, but he will provide speed and pure athleticism.

Shea is a former MLS All-Star and was elected to the 2011 MLS Best XI. In 2010 he played in the MLS Cup but came up short. As Brek Shea joins his fourth MLS team this season and hopes to get back and win the cup in 2019.

Today in the A: August 27th

the-dream-vs-mystics.jpg
(Atlanta Dream Official Twitter)

Mystics: 87, Dream 84

The Atlanta Dream took the floor yesterday night in Game 1 against the Mystics. Only to fall short by 3 points during this playoff game.

On the other hand, we all know that these women will be back to play even harder in Game 2. Which will be held at the McCamish Pavilion at 8pm tomorrow night.

Braves Head Home

Final | 4-0

The Braves head home with a huge win against the Marlins.

During the Atlanta Braves road trip to Miami, the Braves snatched a win in the first game and again in the last game. Which ended up splitting the four-game series in half yesterday.

As they say, you win some, you lose some… and then, of course, you split some.

The Braves have now risen to a three game lead in the NL East. 

Coming up…

The Braves and Rays go at it tomorrow night, 7:35pm at SunTrust Park.

Will the Braves clinch another win? Well, let us hope so.

Keep the ball flying Atlanta.

Rodnika |@_Rodnika