The 4-3-3 has clear disadvantages
With the more attack-minded 4-3-3 in play, Atlanta’s able to keep more possession and hang around in the opposing half much more often than they normally are in the 3-5-2. This is the obvious benefit for the team. However, when the center backs are also in the opposing half and the fullbacks are joining in on the attack, it can make for hectic sequences of the defenders running back toward their own net with less numbers than the opposition the instant one of their attacking players loses the ball. This was exactly the case leading up to D.C. United’s early goal.
Tata Martino will accept the fact that counters like that can happen more often than not. That’s an opportunity cost of wanting to overwhelm opposing teams with a strong attacking presence. It is however something that should probably be addressed by the backline and the coach. More composure and awareness of the space that’s given up behind them when on the front foot is needed.
The attack heard Tata Martino loud and clear
Last weekend, Martino expressed his frustrations regarding the lack of bodies in the box when crosses were coming in against the Seattle Sounders. Well, it was a different story this time around, as Atlanta’s wingers and fullbacks were given a multitude of options to aim for. Although it didn’t result in anyone other than Josef Martinez scoring, Martino will be happy about the clear added effort.
Andew Carleton had a solid performance
The youngest starter in Atlanta United history did well. He wasn’t afforded too many opportunities, but Carleton showed no signs of fear and didn’t mind going 1-on-1 with the opposing left back. That’s a good sign. He also picked up a hockey assist for his troubles.
He had a couple above average scoring opportunities that he should’ve done more with and didn’t, but that’s normal for a player who has only played spare MLS minutes so far this season. The important thing is he acknowledged his mistakes post-match and understands what he did wrong. That’s good to hear. Overall, not a bad match for the youngster.
Josef Martinez is still the definitive scoring threat for Atlanta
Martino can ask all he wants for more attacking players to make their presence known in the box, but one thing is clear. Josef Martinez is the goalscorer for Atlanta. Is this a cause for concern? Should more players be scoring? It would be nice, but the crazy thing is it really hasn’t mattered all that much when Martinez is playing. He’s shown time and time again that he’s willing to put the scoring duties on his back and will the team to results. Perhaps there’s too much of a reliance on him and goodness forbid he picks up an injury, but when Martinez is available, he’s always up for it regardless of the contributions of other players.
Josef Martinez is the greatest scorer in MLS history
I don’t care that he hasn’t even played two seasons. I don’t care that he’s not the leading scorer in MLS history. Josef Martinez is the greatest scorer this league has ever seen. He has already scored the most hat-tricks in MLS history in just 42 appearances. In that same amount of time, he’s scored 41 goals in total. That’s nearly a goal per match. His 22 goals this season is almost double the next highest tally and he’s only six goals away from breaking the single-season MLS record. People, there are 12 matches remaining.
Let’s savor this time with Josef Martinez while we can. We are all witnessing greatness.