With yet another chance at glory, an Atlanta sports team failed at the final hurdle in embarrassing fashion. Atlanta United went into Decision Day with a one point lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, only to get hammered by Toronto FC and finish 2nd in the regular season title race.
It was a bad day for almost everyone involved and with the playoffs just days away, one can only hope the team turns it around in time to challenge for the MLS Cup. So without further ado, here are your winners and losers from Sunday’s 4-1 defeat to Toronto FC.
The German has been a model for consistency this season and on a day where the rest of the team lacked effort, Gressel’s commitment was never in doubt. The winger worked tirelessly down the right-hand side, looking like Atlanta’s biggest threat in the first half.
He was unlucky to hit the crossbar after the break and deserved a goal for his performance. Thankfully, Gressel’s form doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
Nagbe stood out in a midfield that looked tired and lackluster on Sunday. His presence was needed and even down 2-0 early on, he looked like one of very few Atlanta United players who was awake and ready to play. Heading into the playoffs, Nagbe’s form is going to be crucial as midfield battles will decide playoff matchups.
It wasn’t his best game, but it was a solid and timely performance for a player that has had his ups and downs this season.
The return of Greg Garza is a welcoming site for Atlanta United fans. The left-back has struggled for fitness this season and was forced into an early appearance on Sunday, replacing the injured Chris McCann.
In his hour on the pitch, he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat during his spell on the sidelines. Solid in defense and a threat going forward, Atlanta are happy to have a crucial defensive piece back for the postseason.
Unfortunately for Larry, it was a bad day at the office. The MLS veteran made a horrible mistake in the opening ten minutes, allowing Lucas Janson to pounce on a loose ball and fire past Brad Guzan to open the scoring.
Larentowicz struggled to get into the game after that and was rightfully substituted later in the game. Atlanta will need all their veterans focused and ready to go for the playoffs, so here’s hoping that this was only a minor blip in form for Larentowicz.
It was a VERY BAD, HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, SAD day for Atlanta United and besides a handful (3) of players, everyone made mistakes. Josef Martinez missed a golden chance that he usually scores, Ezequiel Barco continued to look like the opposite of a $15million player, Brady Guzan looked sluggish, etc, etc,.
On a day that was meant to be historic for Atlanta, it ended in typical Atlanta sports fashion. It’s draining and unfair at times, but the Five Stripes have given us plenty to be confident and excited about for the playoffs. Everyone is a loser this week, but there’s no reason why they can’t all be winners at the end of a postseason run.