THREEEEEEE IN A ROWWWWWWWWW
GK Brad Guzan 7 - Guzan’s second straight clean sheet in a row, and as opposed to the weekend’s game vs. LAFC, Guzan was busy and made some key stops. He did make one bad error playing out of the back that turned into an immediate chance, but other than that he was a net positive for the team.
RWB Brooks Lennon 6 - Did just enough from his RWB position, but he still does not look like he’s fully back to the form he showed in the first half of the season before his injury. Lennon was the beneficiary of Atlanta’s attacking midfielders drawing so much attention that he had space out wide, but he was never able to connect on a cross that created a great chance.
CB Miles Robinson 7 - Miles Robinson is Miles Robinson — he’s never going to be terrible due to his unbelievable athletic gifts and defensive abilities. He just didn’t look quite as sharp or confident carrying the ball to provoke Toronto’s deep block as he has previously.
CB Alan Franco 7 - While Ezequiel Barco has been one of Atlanta’s shining lights since international players returned against Montreal weeks ago, Franco has really settled in as a key player at the back — no doubt helped by the team’s reversion back to a zonal marking scheme.
CB Anton Walkes 5 - Walkes has been a modicum of consistency basically all season, but Wednesday night he made uncharacteristic mistakes. Obviously none ended up costing the team, but some poor touches/decisions near his own penalty area and a poorly weighted back pass to Guzan nearly cost Atlanta a goal.
LWB George Bello 7 - Bello followed up maybe his best performance of the season Sunday with another good effort Wednesday night. He presented a threat going into the box when the opportunities presented themselves. The main thing hampering Bello in the match was the positioning of Marcelino Moreno, who drifted to the left wing where he’s less effective and sometimes nullified the space that Bello otherwise would’ve had.
CM Santiago Sosa 6 - Sosa was solid defensively making three tackles which is why he gets a net positive rating, but in possession the team really struggled to incorporate him in the buildup — a stark departure from games earlier this season when he was THE focal point in buildup playing in a different role.
CM that wan’t a CM Marcelino Moreno 6 - Moreno’s game was one in which, in my opinion of course, the stats don’t tell the story of the match. Because if you look at the stat sheet it looks fantastic — 7 shots, 3 chances created, 2 fouls won. Some of that is good, but Moreno’s shot selection was poor and he missed his best chance of the night on a 1v1 from a tight angle where he dragged it wide. It wasn’t the worst performance and you can tell he’s still playing with a certain confidence built from his recent form, but he looked a little more uncomfortable playing in a wider position in possession — similar to how Gabriel Heinze deployed him earlier this season.
LW Ezequiel Barco 8 (Man of the Match) - Barco will be mostly talked about for his goal (which took a fortunate defelection, but full credit to him nonetheless). But what really made Barco the Standout was his work rate. Running up and down constantly, looking like one of the quicker players on the field throughout the 90 minutes. It was absolutely essential in some situations where he helped the team recover at moments in which they were exposed.
RW Luiz Araujo 6 - The new designated player looked terrific for about 20 minutes and showed both his skill and his work rate. As the match wore on, he dropped deeper, probably a combination of reducing the amount of running he’d need to do on top of Sosa being very isolated and needing assistance controlling the middle. But Luiz showed his quality on the ball and if my rating was about my excitement level for what he can do in Atlanta, it’d be a 10.
ST Josef Martinez 6 - Did his best to move and find space on the wings to play combinations. Josef is always relatively good, even on a day when there’s not a tone happening in the attack. When Luiz was at his best in the early moments, Josef looked like he was having fun playing with him. Most importantly, it was good to see Josef play 90 minutes after it looked to be a struggle for him toward the end of Sunday’s match.
SUB Amar Sejdic 6 — Sejdic was needed for his most important minutes in an Atlanta United shirt to play in a one-man midfield replacing Santiago Sosa.
SUB Erik Lopez 4 — Lopez was mostly invisible after coming on, which was frustrating given there were some late counterattacking opportunities for Atlanta with Toronto pushing high to find an equalizer.