Despite playing a team missing its two best players, Atlanta United didn’t seem to bother showing up Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Five Stripes were outclassed from the first whistle and were beaten 2-0 by the New York Red Bulls.
The defeat saw Atlanta’s lead in the Supporters’ Shield race close to just one point, meaning they must win out to safely secure their first piece of silverware. With all that being said, we’ll pick out the winners and losers from Sunday’s game and there’s a good chance there are more of the latter.
The veteran goalkeeper didn’t have his greatest game, but he kept Atlanta in the match with some solid saves and managed to keep out the Red Bulls’ second penalty. After failing to stop Daniel Royer’s penalty in the first half, Guzan managed to get a hand to Kaku’s spot kick to keep the score at 2-0 and at least give his side a glimmer of hope late on.
The 16-year old didn’t play a single minute of Sunday’s defeat, but still found his way onto the winners list this week. How? With Chris McCann picking up a yellow card and earning a suspension, Bello now has the opportunity to earn more minutes for Atlanta United.
After impressing on his debut against Real Salt Lake, Bello can now capitalize on his new chance and make a case for a starting role sooner, rather than later.
The Irishman once again struggled at the back on Sunday and was the source for most of the Red Bulls’ attacks. McCann was at fault for the home side’s first goal after he inexplicably raised his hand inside the box, giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. That handball earned him a yellow card, and a suspension for Atlanta’s next game, making his day go from bad to worse.
It’s rare to find Atlanta United’s talisman on a list headlined “Losers,” but Sunday’s outing was a rough one for the Venezuelan striker. Martinez suffered greatly from a lack of service and failed to register a single shot the entire game. He eventually found himself subbed off with 15 minutes remaining, capping off a display he’ll want to forget quickly.
Atlanta United fans
The real losers from Sunday are the fans, who were eager to see Atlanta stretch their lead in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. Instead, an Atlanta sports team decided to put their fans through a nail-biting, nerve-wrecking ordeal to end the season. Nothing new.