To get everyone ready for Atlanta United’s matchup against the New York Red Bulls, we spoke with Once A Metro’s Tzvi Machlin to get his take on their form, how they could beat the Five Stripes on Sunday, and Tyler Adams.
DSS: NYRB has been in good form recently, winning their last three matches and six of the nine overall. What have they done well so far and what have they struggled with?
OM: The biggest factors for the Red Bulls have been a combination of the usual suspects - Bradley Wright-Phillips & Tyler Adams, who have been working in harmony with the recent acquisitions - Alejandro Romero “Kaku” Gamarra & Florian Valot.
Wright-Phillips has evolved from a pure finisher to one of the finest cross-passers the team has ever had. Adams continues to shine in just about every spot on the field he gets deployed to. Kaku is quickly emerging as a superb #10. Valot has made a flawless transition from the USL to MLS, with three goals and three assists in the last 6 games.
This team has always struggled to defend set pieces. Of the eleven goals the team has allowed this season, at least five of them have been penalties or free kick goals. Basically, if you can get a free kick deep in our territory, you have a strong chance of scoring.
Additionally, right back Michael Amir Murillo has proven to be the most mistake-prone of the four Red Bulls starting defenders and most goals that have been scored from open play come when he gets caught flat-footed.
DSS: You’re convincing a jury that NYRB will beat Atlanta on Sunday. What are you telling them?
OM: Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury: By having Tim Parker and Aaron Long play mistake-free at the back while freeing up Kemar Lawrence and Michael Amir Murillo to work in the high-press, the Red Bulls will be able to maximize their chances and maintain sufficient control of the ball to keep Atlanta on the defensive. Having weathered the storm of shots from Barco, Nagbe, Martinez and Almiron, the Red Bulls will be awarded via a stupid VAR call and win the game.
Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I thank you for your time.
DSS: How much longer do you realistically expect Tyler Adams to stick around in New York for?
OM: Well, with no World Cup for him to showcase his skills to the world, I expect Adams won’t garner enough interest until at least the end of the 2018 MLS season. If I were a betting man(which will be the case in about six weeks thanks to the new Supreme Court decision), I’d make a strong bet that Adams makes a move to the Bundesliga sometime in January 2019.