Atlanta United might be back, y’all. The Five Stripes won by three or more goals in back-to-back matches for the first time since their second and third matches EVER in MLS way back in 2017. Following up that enthralling victory over Orlando, Gonzalo Pineda’s team took care of business against lowly FC Cincinnati with an easy 4-0 win on Wednesday night. Here are a few thoughts on another great result in the Benz.
- While the score line is certainly something to be excited about, what’s more exciting about this performance is that they came away with the lop-sided result without really playing to their full potential. This isn’t a criticism by any means, just an observation that the chemistry between the high-priced “BAMM” attack still has plenty of room for growth. Even without clicking completely, they managed four goals and five assists between them during this match. Once they continue to get familiar with each other’s styles of play and tendencies, it’s only going to get better. That’s an incredibly scary thought for the rest of MLS.
- Luiz Araujo’s first goal for Atlanta United is proof that he’s a different type of player, one with a skill set that’s been missing since the departure of Miguel Almiron. While I’m not putting Luiz on Miggy’s level, having someone who can change the match with their dribbling and pace is something this team hasn’t had in a while. His ability to create something out of nothing makes everyone around him better. If opens space for Josef, gives Barco a vertical threat to pass to, and Moreno another talented player to combine with. He’s been worth every penny so far and is showing no signs of slowing down.
- It was another inspired performance from Ezequiel Barco. There really isn’t much more accolades we can lay on him at this point. The confidence, the execution, the work rate, it’s all flowing beautifully. We can just hope this incredible run of form continues for as long as possible.
- As things stand, Atlanta are above the red playoff line in seventh spot. However, their run of matches over their next three will really tell the tale. Beginning on Saturday they host fifth-place D.C. United, travel to ninth-place Philadelphia Union, then return home to play eighth-place Inter Miami. If they can continue to string together positive results and performances, the question won’t be will they make the playoffs but how high of a seed can they obtain? But to get there they must keep the momentum going and not let off with the intensity and quality they’ve displayed over the past two matches.