Atlanta United narrowly defeated the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday night to collect their first home win in MLS this season. After a frustrating 70 minutes, Julian Gressel got on the end of a Darlington Nagbe cross to squeak the ball past Tim Howard and earn his side a big three points. Here’s one big ramble on the result:
I wrote during the week that this wasn’t a must-win match for Atlanta United but it might be for Frank de Boer. Well, they won. Was it an inspiring performance? Nah. Was it a fun game to watch? Absolutely not. Were there any encouraging signs for the future? Uh ... I can’t really think of any.
The fact is, they got the job done against a team who had no intention of playing soccer. The Rapids came in to frustrate Atlanta’s attack and they did just that. They very rarely ventured into Atlanta’s end and focused all their efforts on not conceding. They did a good job until Gressel finally got the ball over the goal line, somehow. Credit to Darlington Nagbe whose run down the left created the goal. Credit to Tito Villalba for coming on and doing Tito Villalba things. Credit to Ezequiel Barco who was once again bright in the attack. Credit to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez who was very solid.
I’m not going to rant about the performance. It was what it was. I said they needed to win against a bad team and that’s what they did. We move on. Apologies if this isn’t the analysis you’re looking for, but I just don’t see much to talk about. Now let’s see what happens in Kansas City next weekend.