GK Brad Guzan 7: It was Guzan’s first clean sheet of the year, and despite D.C. United’s relatively meager xG accumulated during the game, Guzan had a crucial save in the opening minutes after a disastrous moment at the back from George Campbell, Alan Franco and Ozzie Alonso.
RB Brooks Lennon 7: Lennon was low-key excellent in this game. He had the most completed passes in the match from his RB position, but got forward whenever he could and registered the game winning assist from the corner. He only had five incomplete passes in the game — those being four of his eight crosses and and one long ball.
CB Alan Franco 5: Ultimately it didn’t come back to bite him or the team, but Franco was guilty once or twice of complete misjudgements that put the team in a bind. Most notably in the second half, he attempted a 1v1 tackle when DC had a counterattacking move on. That tackle didn’t come off and it gave DC a numerical advantage on the break. He was only 1⁄4 overall in ground duels in the game.
CB George Campbell 6: Campbell sufficed. And it’s a great experience for a young defender like him to be tested on the road like this. He passed at only 74% which is not ideal for a center back that should be connecting simple passes. But on the positive, he did progress the ball by carrying it forward himself into midfield that disorganized DC. He was a very involved player in the game, to be sure.
LB Andrew Gutman 7: After the five game sample that we have this season, I’m sure everybody already knows that Gutman is going to be one of those guys that is routinely hovering around 7 on my scale. Just solid. Runs like a damn animal, which is helpful on both ends of the field. He kept Julian Gressel in check for most of the game, not allowing him space on the ball to deliver crosses in.
CM Ozzie Alonso 7: Not gonna lie, I was going to give Ozzie a 6 here (which on my personal scale basically means “good solid contributor”). Then I looked at the stats to see that he won 8/11 ground duels. This man is just different.
CM Mattheus Rossetto 5: Rossetto simply wasn’t very involved during his half of play before what looked to be a hamstring injury that forced his removal. The stat I love to look for at players in the No. 8 position under Pineda is ball recoveries. That shows you how alert and aggressive the player is to doing something that is vital for the team to control midfield. Rossetto had two in one half, which is not great. He only had 28 touches in the game.
RW Jake Mulraney 5: If a 6 on my scale is “solid contributor,” a 5 is more “didn’t hurt the team, but didn’t necessarily help either” and it seems fitting for Mulraney in this case. Clearly as a starter, his athleticism is not quite the difference maker that it appears to be when he’s coming off the bench running at tired defenders. He was isolated for much of the game, which is not necessarily his fault.
AM Marcelino Moreno 8 (Man of the Match): Moreno was involved in seemingly everything, least of all his game-winning goal. His duels stat line is honestly just hilarious. The man attempted EIGHTEEN duels, winning eleven of them. Most of these are offensive duels. He “won” six duels through getting fouled, and then the other five were from his successful dribbles (he was a very good 5/7 there). He could’ve made better use of the ball at times when he had it, but it’s nitpicking. Atlanta doesn’t get the result without him.
AM Thiago Almada 8: Almada could also be MOTM coming out of this game — his quality was evident on the night. But what should be even more exciting than the technical quality is his ability to read the game well. Despite being on the ball often in a brutish kind of game, he only allowed himself to be fouled once. He also had 8 ball recoveries — only George Campbell had more. When you watch the highlights of this one — anytime Atlanta United makes a foray into the attacking area, Almada was crucially involved in the play.
Josef Martinez 5: Josef seemed to be clearly lacking energy and that extra gear that we know he has. It’s hard to judge a striker in a game like this where they don’t get on the ball a ton, but in this case Josef was REALLY uninvolved, accumulating only 15 touches in his 62 minutes on the field.
SUB Santiago Sosa 7: Had 46 touches in a half of action vs. Rossetto’s 28 just shows how eager Sosa was to get involved in the action. He and Ibarra really helped lock down midfield.
SUB Franco Ibarra 7: Ibarra averaged more than a touch per minute in his near half-hour, also winning 3/5 duels in that time. If you extrapolated Ibarra’s statistics from the game to 90 minutes, it’d be silly. A great sign to see from the young Argentine midfielder coming back from injury.
SUB Jackson Conway 5: I’m sure Conway didn’t sleep much after his fluffed shot on what was a tremendous chance to score set up by Almada. Still, Conway was beneficial for the team simply through the energy and running he brought, bringing his rating up to a 5.
SUB Miles Robinson 6
SUB Tyler Wolff NA