Atlanta United’s lifeless attack was bailed out late when Josef Martinez converted an 86th minute penalty that gave the Five Stripes a share of the spoils against MLS front-runner Seattle Sounders in the Pacific Northwest Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t aways pretty, but it’s a result the team will happily take back south.
GK Brad Guzan 5: There wasn’t a ton to do for Guzan Sunday in the shot-stopping department, but his distribution was poor and was rooted to his spot on Seattle’s first half goal.
LB George Bello 6: Individually, Bello’s performance was good and he was central to Atlanta’s best chance created in the first half. But tactically, he’s struggling working in tandem with Marcelino Moreno on the left side.
CB Miles Robinson 7: The same reliable Miles Robinson showed up Sunday, but he was even more expansive in his on-ball game, carrying the ball higher and higher up the field and recycling the ball to Walkes quickly.
CB Anton Walkes 7: Like Robinson, Walkes seemed to hardly put a foot wrong, and he’s such a composed figure at the back who can offer confidence to those around him. For as much criticism as the team’s attack deserves after a lackluster offensive start to the season, the defense deserves credit for the way they’ve played.
RB Brooks Lennon 5: At fault for the Sounders’ first half goal as he was simply beaten in a 1-on-1 marking situation against Raul Ruidiaz. Going forward, he was a committed runner, though not as effective as we’ve seen in other games this season. But his work was finally rewarded late, earning Atlanta it’s late penalty kick.
DM Santiago Sosa 6: Sosa has clerarly been identified by opposing coaches as the player that needs special attention, and he’s suffering from more/longer spells without impacting the game. However, the moments in which he was able to escape his marker, he had TONS of space in which to operate, and those moments presented transition opportunities.
CM Franco Ibarra 5: This was a typical Ibarra performance, which is one in which you can’t believe he’s only 20 years old... right up until his youth smacks you in the face. He will need to cut out the simple mistakes, but overall these are performances Heinze can work with (or, he’ll have to because right now there’s no one else).
CM Emerson Hyndman 6: Hyndman was technically fine, but Atlanta needed more creativity from him in a game where they were chasing goals for most of it, and they weren’t getting said creativity from anyone else.
W Marcelino Moreno 4: Another lackluster, frustrating performance from a player who Atlanta really needs to be dynamic considering the absence of Ezequiel Barco. He pretty clearly looks uncomfortable working in tandem with Bello on the left. In general, there’s much frustration about Atlanta’s inability to create quality chances, and that blame lies on Atlanta’s supposedly creative, attacking players.
W Erik Lopez 3: Hampered by a very early yellow card and was yanked at halftime. The booking didn’t seem to stifle Lopez’s aggression (which may be partly due to why he was subbed so early), but on-the-ball he was still too ponderous in the final third.
ST Josef Martinez 7: Dropped deeper to pick up the ball where he could serve as a playmaker where Atlanta lacked creativity. But despite all this, when the time came for him to possibly draw the game level from the spot, he did just that.
SUB Jake Mulraney: Certainly more effective in his role than Erik Lopez was, but ultimately marginal differences were not going to turn the tide for Atlanta’s attack.
SUB Matheus Rossetto: NA
SUB Cubo Torres: NA