Perhaps Atlanta was flirting too much with defying the dread god, perhaps Sporting Kansas City was just better, or perhaps even Zack Steffen taught Tim Melia the magic that he had in the playoffs in 2017. More likely, the reason Atlanta lost last night is that the team failed to put away its chances when the teams were evenly matched and the goals that SKC scored were inevitable with the... (stop me if you’ve seen this movie before) 4th string goalkeeper stepping in to try and keep the ball out of the net.
Atlanta had a very promising 34 minutes ahead of Guzan’s red card. The team was dominating Sporks and managed 10 shots in the first third of the match. Frankly, SKC looked completely out matched, they were hardly even challenging Atlanta when they had possession and their press was completely ineffective against the Five Stripes; the Western Conference leaders looked scared. When they attacked Sporting couldn’t get a shot off within 30 yards of Atlanta’s goal.
Of course, Guzan was sent off on a probable goal scoring play when he confused Khriy Shelton for Franco Escobar and tried to get the money he owned him back, but once he was off the game changed and KC had more possession... well they couldn’t get a shot off outside of 30 yards of Atlanta’s goal. Against a 4th stringer, that was an effective strategy though. Meanwhile, the Five Stripes sill managed 7 more shots despite being down a man.
Here’s how it looked on the box score...
More frustrating about the game was that the team played really well and a number of players seemed to step up their game. Tito Villalba was back to his regular self cutting in with pace from the wing forcing Tim Melia to make a finder blistering save and Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez was back to being his regular old center attacking center back once again. Tim Melia stood on his head and SKC won, simple as that. Another tidbit about the game is that now that Brek Shea is just a dude getting paid regular wages in MLS Yohan Croizet is now the worst designated player in MLS. Don’t believe me?
That was one of the 15 patented 30 yards from goal and hope something good happens shots from SKC.
Well at least we got to laugh at something.
Here’s what the team stats look like. It’s hard to believe that Atlanta had 10 men from looking at them.
In sum, Atlanta lost to a team who has the worst DP in MLS on it and couldn’t stop the Five Stripes from getting three excellent chances on goal in the last 10 minutes of the game. It was one of those nights... Atlanta and their 4th string keeper will take on Orlando City this weekend, perfect.