Despite only finishing 1-1, there were plenty of things to take away from Major League Soccer’s newest rivalry.
The rivalry is real
Whether some fans of a certain team want to admit it or not, Orlando City and Atlanta United have developed a real rivalry during their two meetings. The heated nature of the rivalry reared it’s head on a few occasions on Saturday, creating what was an intense and exciting atmosphere.
Saturday’s 1-1 tie proved that these two teams won’t be friendly with each other any time soon, setting up some enticing matches in the future.
Tito’s Part-Time Ownership?
Now we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but Tito Villalba is responsible for winning four points off of Orlando City in two games, breaking hearts in the final minutes of each game. Saturday’s goal brought the Villalba’s tally on the season to ten, making him the first player in Atlanta United history to score 10 or more goals in a season.
With two huge goals from the forward in the space of a week, it’s time to congratulate the 23-year old on his new partial ownership of Orlando City...here’s to many more last minute goals. Tito “The Lion Tamer” Villalba loves playing our newest rivals, clearly.
Yamil Asad & Leandro Gonzalez Pirez continue to shine
While we’ve heaped praise on Michael Parkhurst recently, his defensive partner Leandro Gonzalez Pirez has been just as brilliant, including Saturday’s clash with Orlando. The 25-year old Argentine never looked worried at the back, continuously cutting out passes and beginning attacks for Atlanta.
It was a composed and experienced performance from Gonzalez Pirez, who has proven to be one of the league’s better defenders this season despite not making the All Star team.
On the other hand, Yamil Asad continues to rack up assists and fly under the radar. The forward notched the assist for Villalba’s goal, sliding a perfectly weighted ball through for his teammate to finish. Ten (10!) assists on the season, tied for the most in MLS, for the most underrated player in the league.
What goes around, comes around
After Villalba’s stunner last week, it was only right that an Atlanta team did what an Atlanta team does best, and concedes a goal just as good, if not better. On the bright side, the goal didn’t win the game and all is well in Atlanta.
Take a bow Kaká, it’s one to admire.
We’ll miss Bobby Dodd Stadium
The prospect of a brand new, state of the art stadium is exciting for Atlanta, but leaving behind Bobby Dodd Stadium is bitter-sweet. The first half of Atlanta United’s debut season in MLS was full of fantastic memories, including plenty at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The late equalizer from Villalba in the final game created an atmosphere unlike any other and for that, we’ll miss the first home of our beloved MLS side.