TWO IN A ROWWWWWWWWW
GK Brad Guzan 7 - Pros: Played some really nice passes on the ground out of the back to spring Atlanta United open in the first half. Also, a clean sheet. Cons: The ball was spilled of crosses and bouncing around the mixer a little more than I’m comfortable with.
RWB Ronald Hernandez 6 - Ronald Hernandez continues to put in solid performances ever since his introduction to the team against FC Cincinnati in Rob Valentino’s first game in charge. Brooks Lennon will probably re-assume his spot in the lineup, but Hernandez has proven to be a suitable reserve at either wingback position.
CB Miles Robinson 8 - Robinson was simply excellent Sunday. As always, he was in the pocket of any attacker LAFC threw at him, but he was also able to connect with Bello on multiple occasions with pinpoint diagonal passes.
CB Alan Franco 7 - Started the game a little sketchy, but grew into it. Franco stepped well to LAFC attackers that dropped off to try to find space between the lines. The entire back line needs to improve to be more effective clearing crosses, but outside of that the back three played with cohesion.
CB Anton Walkes 8 - I don’t know what to say about Anton Walkes anymore. Undoubtedly an important leader for the team and the vocal organizer of the back line.
LWB George Bello 9 (Man of the Match) - Bello was outstanding. Despite his brilliant assist to Ezequiel Barco a week ago against Columbus, I’d say Sunday against LAFC was an even better two-way performance from the young American international largely because of the defensive tenacity and sharpness he displayed in the second half.
CM Santiago Sosa 7 - Sosa continued on from a solid game a week ago in Columbus with another good display Sunday. He was instrumental in the team’s possession dominance in the first half and continued to look smoother operating in a pure central midfield position.
CM Matheus Rossetto 6 - The thing I like about Rossetto playing with Santiago Sosa as the midfield pairing in Atlanta’s 3-4-3/3-5-2 is the two have natural spacing with Rossetto looking to pick up positions higher up the field. Sejdic prefers to play closer to his back line, like Sosa, and then positionally the team becomes easier to press and less threatening going forward. That said, Rossetto was not as sharp on the ball Saturday as he wa vs. Columbus.
Marcelino Moreno 8 - Moreno continued his good run of form Sunday with a hockey assist that is truly deserving of the assist stat that MLS doles out in these situations. His ball, thought misplayed by an LAFC defender was a perfect example of his capability of pulling a bit of brilliance out of nowhere to create chances.
Ezequiel Barco 7 - Full credit to Barco for making the run in behind to latch onto said hockey assist from Moreno, which is something Rob Valentino said after the 2-2 draw against Montreal that he’d like to see more of. As opposed ot the Columbus game where he had the time and space to get on the ball around the box, Barco’s performance Sunday was more down to his work rate and determination to carry the ball forward and get on the end of passes into space.
Josef Martinez 8 - When Josef Martinez scores in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, it usually means good things. And it did Sunday — Martinez’s first goal in the stadium since 2019.
Brooks Lennon 5 - Lennon appeared at the hour mark for Atlanta and it was an admittedly tough situation to come into with the team struggling to establish dominance in the game and he himself returning from some missed time. But credit to him for being out there to help see the game to its conclusion with the result in hand despite it all.
Amar Sejdic 6 - I have some concernes with Sejdic and Sosa playing with each other from the start, but he was helpful for Atlanta and an upgrade on Rossetto based on what was needed in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Erik Lopez, Cubo Torres - No rating. Both work hard up top to close down the opponent and see out the result.