GK Brad Guzan 5 - So far this season, Guzan has not played a decisive role in any of Atlanta’s results postiviely or negatively, a trend we saw continue Saturday. Guzan faced 2.76 xGOT (expected goals on target — a measurement using historical data on placement of shots on target with the likelihood that those shots will score) and indeed gave up three goals.
RB Ronald Hernandez 3 - Hernandez was clearly at fault for the breakaway goal Montreal scored to equalize in the first half. Hernandez was dispossessed when he was the last man back on Atlanta’s own corner kick, and then compounded his mistake by not retreating as soon as the ball had been lost. Yes, the pass from Brooks Lennon was poor, but Hernandez had plenty of time to get to it and clear the danger.
CB Alan Franco 4 - Franco has started the season once again laboring his way around the pitch, not as crisp as he can be on the ball, and lacking organization with his teammates around him out of possession. He left Hernandez isolated at times by sliding too far to the ball side of the field, as noted by Brad Guzan in the Full Time Report on 92.9 The Game in a postmatch interview.
CB Miles Robinson 3 - Like Hernandez, Miles Robinson was also at fault for an individual error in committing a fout in his own box resulting in a penalty. It was indeed soft, but it was also an avoidable mistake for the usually sure-footed Robinson.
LB Andrew Gutman 4 - Gutman’s most diappointing performance of the season. He wasn’t really involved in the game in possession — a big change from previous games especially at home. And defensively, he only won 1 of 6 duels.
CM Ozzie Alonso 6 - Among the defenders and two central midfielders (non “attackers”) Ozzie was perhaps the only one who put in a performance that was satisfactory. Through he was chasing back into his own box for Montreal’s second goal, he was much less protected in the 4-2-3-1 shape Gonzalo Pineda opted for Saturday. We’ll talk more about this soon.
CM Matheus Rossetto 4 - Rossetto slotting back into a more defensive role Saturday brought back the version of Matheus Rossetto we don’t like to see. That is — a midfielder who finds himself on the ball often but doesn’t do much with it, doesn’t win much-needed duels in midfield (2/7 on Saturday).
CAM Tyler Wolff 5 - A bit anonymous, but not awful as I suspect many might say. He missed a great opportunity to score at the back post, but it turned out not to matter as Josef’s goal came just seconds later. I continue to like his energy, movement and dribbling. But his final product and vision must improve.
RW Brooks Lennon 8 (Man of the Match) - Bonus points to Lennon for scoring such a massive goal at the end, but more bonus points for switching to RB flawlessly (again) and putting in a shift, winning 5 of his 6 ground duels in the game. Expect to see him take over the RB position full time when Atlanta gets more of it’s first-choice players back in action.
LW Marcelino Moreno 6 - The good: Moreno won 5/6 ground duels, was never dispossessed, and had an amazing cross-field scooped pass in the first half that deserved a better finish. The bad: Defenders that Moreno had beaten were constantly catching back up to him. He only attempted 21 passes in the game over 64 minutes, showing he was disconnected from the team tactically. I’m still not quite sure what to do with a player like Moreno, who has obvious quality but doesn’t fit neatly into any role Gonzalo Pineda used Saturday.
FW Josef Martinez 7 - Good for Josef to get on the score sheet again with a well taken goal. He had other opportunities to add to the tally, but such is the life of a striker. Overall, he seems to be improving steadily during this early phase of the season.
SUB Thiago Almada 8 - Whenever you score a goal on a .02 xG shot, you are basically giving your team a gift (assuming you aren’t attempting those shots constantly, which Almada wasn’t). As opposed to his debut in which he looked lost on the field, Almada’s technical ability shown in his half of action Saturday. I fully expect him to be in the starting lineup from here on out as long as he’s healthy.
SUB George Campbell 6 - I think it’s safe to say George Campbell outperformed the more expensive Alan Franco both in this game and on the season. It will be interesingt to see if Pineda decides to swap these players in/out of the starting XI on a temporary basis.
SUB Jake Mulraney 7 - Really added life to Atlanta United, which I think is down to the speed injection Mulraney provides on the wing as opposed to what the team had in Moreno in that position. His athleticism and speed really does cause trouble for tired defenders. If you could go back in time and set the team up again knowing what we know now, I think he’d be in this starting XI.
SUB Dom Dwyer 1 - It’s truly hard to have a worse performance than getting needlessly sent off just moments after coming on.