Without Josef Martinez and manager Gabriel Heinze, Atlanta United struggled to string together much in the way of cohesive attacking play at Red Bull Arena in a 1-0 loss to NYCFC. Let’s get on to the ratings and get this over with
GK Brad Guzan 7 - This will be the highest rating because Guzan was legitimately good and the reason why this scoreline didn’t read 3-0. Only notable mistake was getting caught out of his net late in the second half but wasn’t punished.
LB George Bello 6 - Also decent from Bello. Both wingbacks seem to have the most success and freedom in this system. Bello slipped a delicate ball into Erik Lopez in the first half from a central position that could’ve produced a goal.
CB Anton Walkes 5 - The better of the two center backs. Cleaned up some mistakes by others, but nearly cost the team a goal when his pocket was unnecessarily picked. He seemed frustrated that he didn’t get any communication from teammates that a man was on his back.
CB Miles Robinson 3 - The rare stinker from Robinson in which he was clearly at fault for the lone goal scored in the game. For a player that’s been one of the best in the league playing out of the back, he really struggled tonight.
RB Brooks Lennon 6 - Lennon is turning into the biggest source of scoring opportunities for Atlanta (probably not a good thing for the team, but that’s another story). He found many opportunities to whip in crosses and most were in a decent area. He’s dynamic in his movement and a solid defensive player.
DM Santiago Sosa 4 - Picked up an early booking that perhaps hindered his ability to make a stamp on the game. I haven’t looked at stats and I’m sure his were decent, but the buildup was poor and he’s a player that needs to lead the team and ensure success in that phase of the game.
CM Franco Ibarra 4 - Ibarra did some good things — he had some nice tackles and a great diagonal in the first half to find Lennon. But again, when it comes to buildup, he didn’t seem to be popping up as an outlet. Overall, Atlanta’s midfield got bossed in the game despite the team holding onto a slight possession lead at the end.
RW Jake Mulraney 4 - Anything positive Mulraney did in the final third — and he had a dribble or two to find an opportunity — ended in a mess. Whether it was a scuffed shot or nearly colliding with his teammates (not necessarily his fault, mind) it wasn’t good.
AM Ezequiel Barco 3 - This is probably the harsher end as I as waffling between a 3 and a 4 but screw it. He’s supposed to be the engine in the attack and he’s just… not. He seems like a player that could be very effective when surrounded by other great players, but he’s not so he’s not.
LW Marcelino Moreno 3 - Moreno may have been more anonymous than Mulraney in this game, Again, this are just instinctive reactions but he seemed really bad. When he takes a good first touch, he can set himself up well, but those good first touches were rare Wednesday night. He had a golden opportunity late to equalize when he took down a Lennon cross near the six-yard box, but he tried to dribble around someone instead of getting a shot off. He lost the ball.
ST Erik Lopez 3 - He looked like a player playing out of position with a coaching staff that didn’t have its manager on the touch line. Not a dig on Mariano Toedli, but it was just not a good night for Lopez. He had one clear chance and put it on frame, so credit to him for that.
SUB Cubo Torres - When Torres came on he was able to hold up play and link up with attackers who had forward momentum. That’s good, but unfortunately in the final third he ghosts into the box — as in disappears.
SUB Jurgen Damm - Jurgen Damm was extremely Jurgen Damm in his sub appearance. Floating in crosses that are either over hit or easily claimed by the goalkeeper and not much else.
SUB Mo Adams - Mo Adams played, which is good. He’ll be needed, and he’ll have an opportunity to force his way into this side because there are positions there for the taking.