Atlanta United’s 0-0 draw with the Seattle Sounders was an upbeat match, despite the score line. Both teams pressed each other’s defense, which led to some exciting chances and a bunch of quality moments in the match.
At the start, the Sounders enforced consistent pressure on United’s back line. Fortunately, they were able to weather the first 10 minutes of the Seattle offensive attack. United slowed down the tempo of the match and fought to create a few quality chances. This was highlighted by a fantastic set of moves by Julian Gressel in the 16th minute.
Gressel’s good play was almost nullified by a challenge which was close enough to be a red. Luckily enough, he was booked for a yellow, while United’s push on the Sounders defense continued. Both teams continued to battle for the next 20 minutes, showing flashes of hard fought chances.
The final minutes of the half ended with a foul while Seattle was on the attack. Yamil Asad was shown a yellow for his challenge, while McCann’s foul moments later led to a free kick to end the half.
After the half, both teams traded attacks in each other’s last third. None of the chances manifested in a goal which led to the Sounders going to their star, Clint Dempsey, in the 56th minute. The substitution creates new energy for the Sounders, which gives United some trouble. No trouble was more apparent than the free kick in the 58th, where the ball finds Dempsey open in the box. The shot fortunately went off the post and the defense was able to clear it. A few minutes later, Dempsey shocks with a beautiful no-look pass that ends in a missed shot on goal.
The United defense found itself on its heels when Atlanta’s game changer, Miguel Almiron, checked into the match for Peterson. This opened up play for both teams, but the Sounders continued to be aggressor. McCann is then subbed for Carmona right before Julian Gressel finds Atlanta’s best chance in the match so far. Unfortunately, this sails over the net and the Sounders once again decide to press Atlanta’s defense.
The first 80 minutes ended with a sub of Kenwyne Jones for Villalba and great opportunities for both teams. Almiron had an awesome look due to a rare Dempsey misplay, while the Sounders pushed Kann to make a few saves.
In stoppage time was the “Play of the Match”, where United almost stole one at CenturyLink. Almiron set up Kenwyne Jones with a nice pass, which left him in the box with a single defender and the goalkeeper. The defender was able to get his body on the ball, stopping what would have been the winning goal in the match. The match ended with both teams trading chances and the referee blowing the final whistle.
Overall, a good showing from the United squad. We worked for a well earned point out in Seattle, without Josef Martinez. Hopefully United can continue the trend of success on their upcoming road trip.