To get everyone ready for Atlanta United’s match against Sporting Kansas City, we spoke with The Blue Testament’s Cody Bradley to get his take on Dom Dwyer’s departure, how they compensate without him, and their incredible defense.
DSS: Atlanta United played Orlando City and now former Sporting KC player Dom Dwyer last week. What were your thoughts on the trade?
TBT: It's definitely really tough to lose a fan favorite like Dom. Especially while in the midst of chasing multiple trophies this season! But after having more time to dissect the move, it feels like it was the right thing to do. Vermes sold him to the team who valued him the highest and it was simply too good of a deal to pass up.
They are running out of time to sign a replacement before August 9th, and that will upset a lot of people. But he wouldn't have made the move if he wasn't confident in the players he already has.
DSS: How does SKC fill a Dom Dwyer-sized void up top?
TBT: While losing Dom is obviously a huge problem, the style of play from Vermes' men has shifted the last couple of years. A more patient, possession focused philosophy has taken over and it has not been as perfect of a fit for Dwyer. He hadn't scored an MLS goal since the beginning of May.
That is another reason Vermes' was not afraid to pull the trigger on this deal right now. He has a hoard of (admittedly unproven) talent he is ready to let loose. The offense was able to put up three goals last week in the first match without their longtime striker.
Diego Rubio slides right into the center of the attack. The 24 year old Chilean has shown plenty of promise and brings a style of play that is perhaps more fitting to this current SKC squad. Outside of him are two other youngsters in Daniel Salloi and Latif Blessing. But the two of them have already started scoring goals and have fans pretty excited.
DSS: SKC are bottom three in goals scored in the West this season, yet are top of the table. How?
TBT: DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE. The starting back line of Zusi, Opara, Besler, and Sinovic has been almost impenetrable. When something does get by them, the heroics in goal of Tim Melia save the day. Then in front of the back line they have Ilie Sanchez at holding mid. He prevents so much danger before it can even get to the defense and he relieves pressure when they win the ball.
They have been scoring just enough goals and then staying organized & focused to secure the result. Another large part of this season has been the return The Blue Hell. Children's Mercy Park has become a fortress once again, with SKC in the midst of a 20 match unbeaten run.