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How Atlanta United exploited the flanks vs San Jose

Greg Garza had his most productive game of the season against the quakes, and it wasn’t by coincidence.

ATLUTD's flank play vs. San Jose was on point

Greg Garza had his best game of the season against San Jose. Joe Patrick explains how he did it.

Posted by Dirty South Soccer on Friday, July 7, 2017

Atlanta United struggled to break down the San Jose Quakes in the first half of their July 4th tilt, but the Five Stripes opened the floodgates with four second half goals as they came from behind to win.

Three of Atlanta’s goals came from wide areas via crosses into the box, two of which were from Greg Garza during the run of play. Atlanta targeted these wide areas after San Jose was relegated to playing with 10 men and Chris Wondolowski — one of the league’s all time renowned strikers — was forced to mark Garza on the right wing.

And crucially, instead of panicking and throwing numbers forward, Atlanta manager Tata Martino actually pulled Jeff Larentowicz further back into a familiar 3-man back line. By doing so, he offered space for his centerbacks to move into areas where San Jose had to break its shape. From there, it was just a matter of exploiting the gaps and putting the ball in the back of the net.