Atlanta United picked up one of their most impressive results of the season thus far on Thursday night. The severely depleted Five Stripes went on the road to Nashville SC and walked away with a 2-2 draw after many twists and turns. Playing the last 20 minutes or so down a man, Atlanta still found a way to earn a point despite the circumstances fully stacked against them. Here are a few thoughts on an unexpectedly encouraging night.
- While a 2-2 draw at Nashville isn’t spectacular on paper, but when you consider the circumstances of the mounting injury crisis and four locked on starters being on international duty it’s a massive result.
#ATLUTD Heinze: What my players showed me today is something that we’ve asked for from the start.— Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC) July 9, 2021
They showed me that they didn’t put their heads down. They were not afraid to play with or without the ball.
- While the chance creation still leaves a lot to be desired (xG: Nashville 1.98 - 0.36 Atlanta), the effort and work rate was definitely there in this match. Considering the team has been on a poor run of form and playing yet another midweek match, the collective spirit of the team must be commended.
- Everyone knows I’m not a fan of blaming outside forces unless it’s absolutely necessary, but this time it’s completely justified. The red card for DOGSO on Jake Mulraney was nothing but a sham. If his slide tackle is a foul then FIFA needs to ban slide tackling as a concept all together. Obviously the goal is to protect players from getting hurt but the line between what is and isn’t acceptable when a tackling player goes to ground is so blurred that I don’t even think the best referees in the world know how to call it.
- Cubo Torres should not start another match for Atlanta United. Even if the apocalypse comes and he’s the last person remaining. He just doesn’t have it anymore, it’s plainly obvious.
- We need to see more of Machop Chol and Jackson Conway. Sure both of them probably have glaring faults currently but it’s clear they offer something that no one else on the roster does. It’s time to start showing some faith in them and giving them more chances to sink or swim.