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Atlanta United beat New England Revolution with this one trick!

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FdB’s tactical wrinkle turned the tide for Atlanta United in its first-round playoff win

Atlanta United’s first-round win in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs wasn’t without tactical drama as Frank de Boer’s side took a lead through Franco Escobar just five minutes after the manager made a double-substitution and changed the team shape. We talk through it on the tactics board.

I want to reiterate that the choice de Boer made was a bold one. With things looking less than great midway through the second half, he decided to shake things up while opting not to use surprise absentee Pity Martinez. The milquetoast sub would’ve been to just throw on Pity for any player but Josef. But instead, de Boer utilized Tito Villalba’s speed — maybe the one trait he possesses that Pity does not.

The change simply caught New England out — period. It’s not that it was some amazing secret tactic just waiting to be unleashed, it was simply a different look that created different marking responsibilities for Revs defenders, and Atlanta capitalized on the opportunity it needed.

Let’s do a poll.

Poll

What formation would you start vs. Philadelphia Union on Thursday?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    3-5-2
    (126 votes)
  • 13%
    3-4-3
    (47 votes)
  • 49%
    4-2-3-1/4-3-3
    (168 votes)
341 votes total Vote Now