Frank de Boer’s poor start to life with Atlanta United continued on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat to Columbus Crew SC. A match that was unplayable at times, due to weather conditions, left the reigning MLS Cup champions still without a win after four games.
The negatives have outweighed the positives so far this season, and it was a similar story for the Five Stripes’ second defeat of the season.
Judging by his usual standards, Gressel wasn’t at his best in the 2-0 defeat in Columbus, but the same goes for everyone in an Atlanta shirt. Despite that, Gressel gave consistency and solidity in a game of sloppy passing and mistakes.
Holding down the right side of the midfield three, Gressel continued to show that he is one of the club’s most consistent performers and earns himself a “winners” label this time around, even if he was merely the best out of a bad bunch.
Frank de Boer
Eight games into his reign as Atlanta United boss, the pressure is already piling on de Boer. The Dutchman has seen his side win two games in his first eight games, with both coming in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The last time Frank de Boer won a league game, Josef Martinez was playing for the opposing team in Serie A.— Rob Usry (@RobUsry) March 30, 2019
Four matches played in the new MLS campaign have seen Atlanta United score just twice and gain two measly points, with some fans already growing restless with the new manager. Time is still on de Boer’s side, but his inability to adapt to losing situations and tactics that continue to hinder the side leave plenty of questions about his future in Atlanta.
Last season’s MVP struggled to involve himself mightily in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat in Columbus. The 25-year old quite clearly found the conditions tough to get going in and failed to register a single shot before being substituted. With just 19 touches in 80 minutes, it was one of Martinez’s least eventful outings in an Atlanta shirt.
The introduction of Miles Robinson into the starting lineup this season has been de Boer’s best decision so far. The 22-year old was enjoying a great start to the new campaign but endured a miserable 90 minutes dealing with the likes of Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes.
A bad game for a young player is to be expected as they continue to improve and Robinson should bounce back from this one quickly.
Major League Soccer
One of the biggest losers from Saturday was Major League Soccer for even allowing that match to continue. The conditions were horrid, making the game both unwatchable, in regards to the quality, and unsafe for players.
In the future, hopefully games like that are abandoned and continued the following day to primarily protect the safety of the players, as well as give the fans a quality-filled game that is actually visible.