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Winners and Losers in Atlanta United’s first competitive match of 2020

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We back (in the CONCACAF Champions League)

FBL-CONCACAF-MOTAGUA-ATLANTA Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images

Winners

Atlanta United

A 1-1 draw is one of the best results Atlanta United could have reasonably asked for considering the circumstances. Heading into a CONCACAF Champions League away leg for the team’s first competitive match of the year after an unconvincing preseason, many, including myself, believed we would see a result similar to Atlanta’s CCL opening match of 2019 (a 3-1 loss to CS Herediano). Considering how many first team players weren’t eligible for selection due to injury and visa issues, Frank de Boer and his team still got the job done in a hostile environment far from home.

Josef Martinez

Josef Martinez scoring goals is one of the few remaining on-field constants that we’ve been able to enjoy the last three years. The striker connected well with Pity Martinez to slot a shot into the bottom left goal post, giving Atlanta United a crucial away goal to take back to Kennesaw for the second leg.

Brad Guzan

Josef put Atlanta in the driver’s seat, but Brad Guzan is the reason the car didn’t crash and go up in flames. The veteran goalkeeper kept Atlanta in the match by making a number of impressive saves, including one in the 85th minute to deny a Motagua a potential late winner. Man of the Match.

Losers

Atlanta’s backline

Atlanta’s backline wasn’t at its best, particularly when it came to dealing with Motagua’s attempted 30 crosses — some of which weren’t that great, to be fair. Motagua’s goal, a beautifully first time volley, came from a pin point cross from Atlanta’s left side. Mo Adams, Atlanta’s right back for the night, was caught out of position as he was scrambling back to defend after a giveaway in Motagua’s half.

Josef’s hair

I love Josef, but this particular hair style is... interesting. What’s your opinion on Josef’s hair?