Well it took a perfect free kick for Atlanta United to draw even with Toronto FC. The team should feel pretty short changed by the scoreline. If not for the Giovinco lazer beam and a miscue between Michael Parkhurst (CLEAR THE BALL) and Brad Guzan, Atlanta is coming away with three points and is in second place in the Eastern Conference. Sadly, those “if nots” were the reality and Atlanta United ended the season sitting in 4th place in the conference to end their inaugural season.
Despite the draw, the Five Stripes should be pretty encouraged by the match. They showed that they can play without Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and not look like a complete mess in the back. While LGP no doubt would have been a major asset against Toronto, the team showing that it can figure out how to play a three man backline is very encouraging going into the playoffs.
Atlanta’s goals came through forcing Toronto to make a mistake and give up a penalty with Yamil Asad stepping up to bury it. Of course TFC evened the score with the above mentioned miscue with Jozy Altidore scoring a goal that he didn’t have to do anything to create and then acted like he qualified for the World Cup after putting the ball in the net. The celebration* was peak Jozy, people were booing him every time he touched the ball because he helped the U.S. miss the Men’s World Cup and he was encouraging it. Jozy also covered himself in glory later when he got Gresselmania’d off of a ball showing everyone that Alejandro Bedoya was right for once when he said his USMNT failmate was soft.
It’s a good time to put this in here, this sign gave me life, thank you so much whoever made it:
“The Biggest Losers” banner with a photo of Bradley and Altidore. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/sB0c29Rccs— Haris Kruskic (@HKruskic) October 22, 2017
That thing should go on tour with TFC when they play on the road, we should crowd source the funding for shipping costs.
Anyway, Atlanta’s second score was a vintage goal with Josef Martinez flicking a ball off of his heel with his back turned to goal. Then a tired, and possibly injured and should have been subbed out earlier to stop something like this from happening in the first place, Michael Parkhurst fouled Giovinco in a dangerous area. We’ve seen this movie before, the home team’s lead dies:
I wasn’t even mad.
Gio beat the wall, which actually jumped high, and Guzan, who flew across his goal like a bald Valkyrie screaming through the air to send the ball to Valhalla. Sadly, the Italian striker put it in the exact place Guzan couldn’t cover and it clanged off of the crossbar into the net. Bobby B subbed into the game and was almost transformed into Atlanta United Hero Bobby Boswell, but the goal mouth stretcher was never fetched and his shot didn’t put the Five Stripes ahead.
Anyway, here’s how the boxscore looked...
That’s right, Miggy’s back and the team looked like its regular old goal scoring, channel running, dangerous chance making self for about 29 minutes.
And the team stats...
That’s it. The regular season was great. Toronto got 69 points. Atlanta made the playoffs, but now the real work begins.
*Don’t throw beer at anyone, it isn’t cool and will probably make Arthur Blank raise the price of beer at MBS.