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The Daily Dirt, February 13: On to the next one

The Carolina Challenge Cup awaits...

Dave Williamson Photography

With the rush of feelings of the first preseason game out of the way, Atlanta United will be getting down to business this week ahead of the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston. They will face the Columbus Crew next Saturday, Seattle Sounders on February 22, and the hosts to conclude the tournament on February 25. The first two games especially will give Tata Martino and his staff a better idea of where his squad stands on the precipice of their first MLS season.

After analyzing the first half of Saturday’s game, United needs to tighten up some things in the back. With their style of high pressure, mistakes will happen while everyone learns their responsibilities and assignments. The outside backs were caught out a couple of times and the central midfield was split early leading to Chattanooga’s best chance in the 2nd minute.

The building blocks of the attack were on full display and can only get better. The chemistry was already strong between some players, and the passing will only become more fluid once players get acclimated with their teammates. For their first preseason match, the movement off the ball and interchange in positions was very good.

It’s a big week for Atlanta United in Flowery Branch as they prepare to face their first MLS competition on Saturday. While last Saturday was a lot of fun, this Saturday will give us a better impression of where the team is at this point.


Domestic

Highlights of Minnesota United’s 2-2 draw at Portland Sunday night:

Thoughts from Minnesota on the match (E Pluribus Loonum)

Freddy Montero rumored to be returning to MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps (El Heraldo, Colombia)

Another Vancouver striker rumor:

Whitecaps draw 1-1 with Real Salt Lake in preseason action (Eighty Six Forever)

International

Could Thierry Henry be in line to be the next manager at Arsenal? (Standard)

Best race in the EPL now is for second place (SB Nation)