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RECAP: Atlanta United Beats FC Cincinnati, 2-1

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Zeke and Emo sounds like a children’s storybook about a rambunctious kid and his imaginary friend that is a metaphor for sadness and acting out.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The things that happened in the game that was played

Atlanta looked dead for the first fifteen minutes or so before kicking things into high gear. After a pair of big chances, Pity and Zeke combined to make sure the third chance found the net.

Atlanta largely controlled the half—excluding a pair of big chances against the run of play—for the rest of the half, but took another big blow depth-wise when Lawrence Wyke exited the match with a head injury. 18-year-old George Campbell replaced Wyke, an emergency signing, to make his MLS debut.

Fortunately, Pity, Zeke and Emerson Hyndman provided an extra cushion for the increasingly makeshift backline.

Cincinnati pulled one back with a stunning knuckler from Yuya Kubo, but Atlanta held on the rest of the way.

Atlanta scored twice in the second straight game against a very similar setup. In mnay ways, Cincinnati replicated Nashville’s approach to defending the Five Stripes.

“It was sometimes quite difficult for us. You know, they really played in a block and we had to create our own space in everything,” Frank de Boer said. “I wouldn’t say we have to be more patient, but I think the tempo can be better from left to right and then we can try to pull them more to do the sides and then suddenly, get this splitting pass in between.”

Finding the splitting passes Frank is looking for will go a long way toward helping replace Josef, which brings us to...

A Recap Thought: Long live the King

The tributes to Josef today were excellent. A “7” tifo. A chant with seven minutes on the clock. Michael Parkhurst.

On top of that, you had the two most important players in the grand task of replacing his production step up in exactly the way they needed to. Pity and Zeke connected multiple times and did enough to carry the team to three points. It’s far too much to ask them to replace all of Josef’s production, but any dent they can make in the gap left by Josef’s absence is extraordinarily necessary for this team. More of the same please.

“You cannot replace Josef. So other players need to step in. Two times in a row Emerson Hyndman and Ezequiel Barco y did a good job to replace that with goals, and so that’s very positive,” de Boer said. “And also of course Pity really played really well. Of course he created the first goal was like 90% was his goal. So this was really nice to see. But I think overall the old team, you know, did a great effort.”

DSS Man of the Match

[inhales]

ZEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEE

Larentowicz Man of the Match (Your Unsung Hero(es))

Fernando Meza and Anton Walkes.

They’ve both been wonderfully steady in a back three featuring a new supporting cast member every 30 minutes.

An additional shoutout to Eric Remedi who played well for large chunks of the match.

(and Emerson who has a little too noticeably good to merit this award)

Tweet of the Night

Bonus:

Quote of the Night

Thing to Fight About in the Comments

Adam Jahn.

Frank said he “worked his balls off.”

[slams table] IS THAT ENOUGH THOUGH?

The Human Fish

Emo Hyndman vs. Prog-Metal-core Hyndman.

Who wins?

Thing You’re Wrong About and Should Take Super Seriously That I’m Telling You You’re Wrong About This Very Important Sports Thing Definitely @ Me Later if it Turns Out I Wasn’t 100% Correct Which I Won’t Be Because I’m Right You Posers (or the T.Y.W.A.a.S.T.S.S.T.I.T.Y.Y.W.A.T.V.I.S.T.D.@.M.L.i.i.T.O.I.W.100.C.W.I.W.B.B.I.R.P)

Even without Josef, this team will score within five goals or more of last year’s team. (That’s 53 goals or more)

What’s Next?

Estadio Azteca. Wednesday night CCL action at 10:30 p.m.