Atlanta United extended their franchise record winless streak to 10 matches on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew. Despite continuing their attack-minded ways and looking dangerous, the Five Stripes were unable to find the net as the visitors bungled in a corner midway through the second half to earn the full points. Here are a few thoughts on a positive performance that netted a negative result.
- First and foremost, as much as the energy and heart was impressive and the chances were there for the taking, there’s no sugarcoating this result. A loss, especially at home, is never acceptable for this club. It’s a painful result to take considering how much optimism had been built up over the last few days. You can say it was an unfortunate loss and that Atlanta probably “deserved” at least a point but soccer is hard and goals are a requirement.
- Now that we got that out of the way, it must be said that this match felt like a nice continuation from the style of play that was universally praised against Cincinnati. While it didn’t produce a goal, the chances were clearly there. Jake Mulraney had a clear look at goal early in the match that he couldn’t hit the target with. Had he been able to convert it, who knows how this match looks. Erik Lopez also had a 1-vs-1 chance in the first half after being played in by Marcelino Moreno but was unable to beat Eloy Room. Those were probably the two best, clear-cut chances but there were several others that could’ve been converted. This seems a far cry from the rudderless and stale attack we suffered through for the majority of the Gabriel Heinze era. So, while it’s a tough result to swallow, there are some positives to take away.
- Once again Marcelino Moreno was a huge bright spot in the attack. He seems to be on the cusp of becoming a very influential player. All that’s remaining is finding that end product, whether it be finishing or the final ball. Another highly touted player that’s beginning to perform up to the level the club thought they would is Alan Franco. It’s taken some time for the defender to settle in but has looked much, much better over his past few appearances. Once Miles Robinson returns from international duty, the options will open up now that Franco is ready to be a starting caliber player. If these two players can consistently perform up to the standard the club expected when they signed them, it bodes really well for the rest of the season.