Atlanta United embarked on the temporary post-Josef Martinez era with a win against possibly the second worst MLS team aside from Nashville on Saturday thanks to a GOLAZO from Ezequiel Barco and a tippy tap with a nice finish from Emerson “Hello there, the angel from my nightmare“ Hyndman.
Here’s how it looked on the box score:
What team is this? On the left is one with some guys from Portsmouth, Nexaca, Furman, Bournemouth, Real Lago del Sal, Hearts, and Phoenix and four players we remember from last year. What happened to Brek Shea, where’s Tito, and Darlington, and Brandon Vazquez? Anyway, who cares? They’re gone and Atlanta has the most wins in the first two games of an MLS season in team history!
Whatever, it worked. Here’s what the team stats were:
Aside from showing how good of a coach he is by getting Josef Martinez to be offside zero times in 2020, Frank de Boer knows that six points is more than one. In fact it’s a lot more. My memory is a little fuzzy but it wasn’t until June or July that Atlanta United had six points last year, if I recall. The stats show a pretty good reflection of the game, if anything the possession number is being kind to FC Cincinnati. The Ohio team was out possessed for the entire match and it was only after Atlanta had found a second goal that they saw much of the ball. But when they did have it the away side would fire off shots from incredible distances, though Brad Guzan did have to make some big saves to dig out the win.
I’m also going to make the case that this is the single greatest victory in team history. Atlanta played with a backline that had never been together before last weekend, probably, and then had to put in another player that had never been with the backline before last weekend, probably, and still only allowed one goal. And they didn’t have Josef Martinez terrorizing the opposing defense to boot. It’s really an incredible accomplishment and the team is over-performing for once.
But the stat of the night also showed one place the team might have taken a step back. Tonight’s number is....
That’s zero completed crosses by Gressel replacement Brooks Lennon. I guess when Josef goes the whole season without being offside, there’s bound to be a downside.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT BY ME
First half thoughts— Coach Parker Likes Everything (@AekprrAcdeellnv) March 8, 2020
Meza has Tito’s quads
Pity + Barco is going to cause problems for teams this year
Adam Jahn is MLS Brian Scalabrine