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Four thoughts on Marcelino Moreno’s promising Atlanta United debut

That’ll do.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United dropped yet another regular season matchup to the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Saturday night. Nature is healing itself. Normalcy is slowly but surely returning to the world. The result probably does something to their “playoff chances” but who the hell cares? Here are a few thoughts on another drab showing that featured a rather promising debut.

  • I’m just here to talk about Marcelino Moreno. It’s clear from his first 60 minutes in MLS that he’s a player that adds the quality that the Five Stripes have desperately lacked. His injection of creativity and dynamism into the squad was so noticeable that he tricked everyone into thinking the side played amazingly in the first half, when it reality it was merely adequate at best. However, his individual moments of brilliance were cause for much optimism and it’s easy to overblow his impact on the collective performance after suffering through massive amounts of mediocrity as we have this season.
  • I don’t believe we still know what the end product of Marcelino Moreno looks like in this squad. Seeing as he was far and away the best player in the XI during this match, he was plopped right into the middle and asked to pull every string as the focal creator. It will be interesting to see where exactly he fits when the club hopefully (please for the love of God) introduces more talented players into the fold next season. He doesn’t seem like the prototypical No. 10 that will unlock a defense on a consistent basis, but he does have the tools to create, there’s no doubt. No matter what the long-term outlook is for Moreno, it’s nice to finally have a player back in the lineup that makes you pay attention any time they have the ball. That’s something this side hasn’t had since Pity Martinez left.
  • I’m not here to talk about refereeing mistakes or controversies. It’s a gray area 50-50 call, in my opinion. It’s extremely hard to get too upset over the incident when the last half hour of chasing a goal consisted solely of aimless crosses into the box. Another scoreless draw isn’t filling this empty feeling in my soul any time soon.
  • Last but not least, Franco Escobar deserves a shoutout. He was once again fantastic at center back. He’s leading on and off the field, which is something this team needed badly. Who knows what the future holds for Franco in Atlanta but I, for one, hope he’s here for several years to come. He’s the type of player who will cling on to a new manager and be an extension of the coach out on the field in the right circumstances.