Okay, I’m going to make it pretty quick with this one for once, as Atlanta United’s next game is in less than three hours as I write, and I’m also a tad hung over after attending my first professional soccer game since March 7th here in Birmingham. In which the Legion put 3 past Tim Howard in the first half and still managed to reduce his goals allowed average, but that’s another story...
There is something really fitting about the fact that when Atlanta United finally lost a game in Orlando, it was to the New York Red Bulls.
Of course, they had to work hard to achieve that loss, which came despite dominating the stat sheet in virtually every category. Our Josh Bagriansky has already detailed how all of that happened, and it’s in good part the fault of the 3-4-3 Frank de Boer felt obliged to run with. Let’s see what he does to improve on it this morning against fellow Dutchman Jaap Stam and FC Cincinnati.
And so on to the Dirty South Soccer Staff Player Ratings:
Man of the Match goes to Brad Guzan, who was hung out to dry on Florian Valot’s goal, but otherwise was an absolute wall. A Special Mention is given to Pity Martinez, who worked his tail off all game.
GK: Brad Guzan – 8. 3 monster saves to keep Atlanta in the game, but was absolutely defenseless on the goal.
LB: Fernando Meza – 5. 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 clearances and 5 recoveries. He looked calm and controlled (which LGP almost never did), but that back line as a unit struggled badly all game.
CB: Miles Robinson – 6. 1 tackle, 1 interception, 3 clearances and 12 recoveries, as well as 2 off-target shots. Miles was somewhat invisible for much of the game, but that is in part because New York barely penetrated the middle. Expect that one time early, of course.
RB: Franco Escobar – 5.5. 1 tackle, 4 interceptions, clearances and 8 recoveries. He was overly aggressive in moving upfield, and received a rather pointless yellow card to boot.
LWB: George Bello – 7. It was very good to finally see George back. He came agonizingly close to evening the game up, and went a moderately impressive 79.3% on 29 passes in 72 minutes of play.
LM: Emerson Hyndman – 6. Played 56 minutes, in which he managed 43 passes for 79.1% accuracy. Also had 1 shot off frame.
RM: Mo Adams – 5. A surprise start, and was largely ineffective in 81 minutes on the field. 47 passes in that time, with 83% on target.
RWB: Brooks Lennon – 7. Brooks looked strong and almost Gressel-like in his crossing, which is a good sign. 85.%% accuracy on 55 passes.
LM: Pity Martinez – 7.5. Easily Atlanta's best field player in the game, and showing why he was brought to Atlanta. He led all players in the game with 3 shots and 2 on target, but marred his performance with the yellow card.
RM: Manuel Castro – 5. Not a great showing, to say the least, and missed 2 golden opportunities that we are used to seeing in the back of the net. Subbed out after 56 minutes.
FWD: Matheus Rossetto – 4. A really disappointing outing. He played 72 minutes and left without having attempted a single shot.
SUB: Jeff Larentowicz – 6. Jeff replaced Hyndman, and did his thing for the rest of the game.
SUB: Ezequiel Barco – 7. If not for a knock in training, Zeke almost certainly would have started, and energized the offense when he came on. 93.8% accurate on 16 passes, along with 2 shots, both going wide.
SUB: Jake Mulraney – 6. Came on for Bello, and did fairly well. Connected 8 of his 11 passes and had a shot on goal.
SUB: Adam Jahn – 6. Switched in for Rossetto, and had one good scoring opportunity.
SUB: Eric Remedi – 6. Replaced Adams late, and really didn’t do much.
COACH: Frank de Boer – 5. Kudos for being inventive in the absence of Josef Martinez, but this time it didn’t work out.
FAKE CROWD NOISE – 5. Man, those people on the video board sure can shout loud.