GK Brad Guzan 5: Guzan was rooted to his spot on Valentin Castellanos’ goal to open the scoring in the game, but honestly there was little he could do there but attempt to use the Force to push the ball wide of the post. The biggest critique of Atlanta’s veteran goalkeeper was the general organization of the defense on the two quick short corners that produced the game’s two goals early in the second half.
RB Brooks Lennon 6: Lennon played well overall. Was tidy with 93% passing on. a small field, and won more duels than he lost. However his few opportunities to influence the game in the final third were nullified.
CB Alan Franco 6: I thought he was one of Atlanta’s best players on the night. His play in particular was instrumental in Atlanta’s build up success. He won 11/16 duels and added an impressive 15 ball recoveries. The red card is whatever.
CB Miles Robinson 4: Didn’t pass the ball great (75%) and generally didn’t seem like he was moving as well as he has when at his best. While only losing out on one duel, he only attempted 6, which is quite low for a center back. Looked like a player who’s logged a ton of minutes and sky miles.
LB George Bello 4: Again, did some good things, but really has to move heaven and earth to go after Castellanos’ bouncing ball. The replay will not treat George kindly there, as it appears he definitely could’ve tried to do more to keep the ball out. An unfortunate way to go out if that game was indeed his last time in an Atlanta United shirt.
CM Santiago Sosa 4: Sosa was solid for the first 20 minutes, but his lack of match fitness was apparent late in the half and into the second half. He was not nearly as active in midfield as we’ve seen Franco Ibarra be in recent weeks — only challenging for 5 duels and only 5 ball recoveries.
CM Matheus Rossetto 5: Kind of a classic Rossetto game in which he led the team in passes and did so at a relatively high rate given the Yankee Stadium pitch (86%). He was the better of the two midfielders overall, but there was nothing standout about this particular performance.
AM Marcelino Moreno 5: Moreno found plenty of opportunities on the ball in the opponent’s half, but too often he dribbled into a swarm of opponents or generally missed out on opportunities to move the ball to players in space.
RW Luiz Araujo 3: Hard to say exactly why this type of game happened for Araujo, but in the biggest moment of the season, Atlanta’s new Designated Player — clearly one of the top talents in this league — simply went missing.
AM Ezequiel Barco 7: Clearly the best player for Atlanta United, and I’d argue he was the single player who’s quality shone the brightest between either side. He was an incredible 11/12 on his dribble attempts, 2/2 on his tackles, and was fouled the most of anyone on the field. In a way, the context of this performance and the team’s result is reflective of the entire season. What he did will not be talked about for years, which is why the glory of winning a championship is so important in instilling a legacy. It’s almost surely the last time we’ll see him in Atlanta shirt, and he won’t be as easily replaced as some might think.
ST Josef Martinez 3: I initially wrote a 4 down but then I looked at the stats and I don’t know how I could justify it. Maybe it’s not all his fault that he had the fewest touches of any player in the game, but you look at the stat sheet and there’s just nothing there. He won two aerial duels and had two shots, both pretty weak efforts with a combined xG of 0.10. It was that kind of night.
SUBS Jake Mulraney and Jurgen Damm: Meh. Let’s be honest, no one realistically expected more than what those guys were able to provide. The double-substitution worked out better tactically than what either was able to provide individually. Having true wingers allowed Atlanta to at least overload the wide areas and get some crosses in, but the writing was on the wall at that point.