Facing a near insurmountable deficit, Atlanta United came up short of the 4-0 scoreline needed to win their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal with Monterrey but played perhaps their most encouraging match of the Frank de Boer era in a 1-0 win.
The things that happened in the game that was played
Atlanta played with a newfound energy from the get go but it took nearly 80 minutes before the Five Stripes could break through against Rayados. When they did, they at least did it in style.
A Recap Thought: A for effort
Atlanta played with urgency for the entire match. That didn’t mean major results, but it did mean the match at least had a semblance of entertainment value. That attack looked more direct and fluid, and despite a much smaller gathering than Sunday’s 1-1 draw, the crowd responded with an energy increase of their own. While Rayados wasn’t exactly putting the petal down the entire game, the loss is still their first of 2019.
If Atlanta can bring some of the same intensity and vertical play to Sunday’s match with Philadelphia, the boo birds will stay far away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
DSS Man of the Match
We got Good Zeke tonight, and Good Zeke is fun Zeke. Barco seemed to drop deeper than we’d seen in the first few games and, as a result, regularly found himself in space centrally and running at defenders with the ball at his feet. The final product wasn’t quite there tonight, but if Good Zeke keeps showing up, 2019 holds a lot of promise for Barco.
(Miles Robinson was also excellent again but he’s winning this too often)
Larentowicz Man of the Match - (Your unsung hero(es))
Mikey Ambrose gets it tonight.
Not a stellar performance but quietly got the job done. Excellent Larentowicz Man material. Is it possible he’s more effective than
Tilda Swinton Brek Shea?
Tweet of the Night
when Jay-Z wants you to unleash the flutes but you didn’t come prepared pic.twitter.com/hLufYylQNt— flirt russell (@caitiedelaney) March 13, 2019
(Joe Patrick, our beloved managing editor, RT’d this midgame — very locked in performance from Joe — so I’m counting it. Nothing else was really that funny or interesting anyway.)
The Five Stripes try to get their MLS campaign back on track on Sunday when they welcome the Philadelphia Union to MBS. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.