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The Daily Dirt, March 1: Finer points

One thing to watch for with Atlanta United

@ATLUTD

Atlanta United’s lack of height and ability in the air has been cited often by fans and experts as something to worry about in 2017. For that reason, I would expect short corner kicks to be something United fans need to get used to this season.

To start with, corner kicks are overrated in general in their effectiveness. Between 2011-2013 in the Premier League, only 12% of corner kicks resulted in a shot. Goals resulted at roughly a 2-3% clip. Lumping the ball into the box and crossing your fingers is not exactly a smart play with these statistics out there.

Combine that with Atlanta’s squad based on speed and technique, and it makes even less sense. Liverpool takes short corners around 13 of the time and they are among the league leaders in set piece goals. Many experts are starting to come around to the fact that short corners might even have a better success rate than the old school method of putting the ball in the mixer and letting guys fight for it.

The short corner can change the point of attack, it keeps the ball on the ground which plays to Atlanta United’s strengths, and can get the ball back in play quickly to take advantage of defensive breakdowns. It can also prevent dangerous counterattacks resulting from long deflections or headed clearances.

It will be interesting to see the trends that we see with Atlanta United this season as they figure out what they are able to do in 2017.


Domestic

8 questions for MLS in 2017 (Yahoo)

Stories to watch in MLS this year (FourFourTwo)

MLS starting to shed the “retirement league” tag (ESPN)

What to expect from Homegrown Players in MLS in 2017 (MLS)

Giles Barnes thrilled to join Orlando City (Orlando Sentinel)

Clint Dempsey cleared to start for the Seattle Sounders (Sounder at Heart)

Vadim Demidov officially named captain of Minnesota United (Pioneer Press)

Rob Stone is not thrilled with the New England Revolution these days (FOX Sports)

Detroit to meet with MLS regarding its expansion bid in May or June (Crains Detroit)

MLS and Liga MX set to play a tournament, but trying to overcome scheduling issues (ESPN)

International

Inter Milan makes a crazy offer to steal Antonio Conte away from Chelsea (Metro)

The relegation battle in the Premiership is wide open (SB Nation)

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