Final Whistle Recap and Thoughts
That could’ve gone better.
Before many fans had gotten their beverages and arrived in their seats, Atlanta United was already losing 1-0 to the Columbus Crew off of — you guessed it — a corner kick that wasn’t dealt with . The ominous start set the table for Atlanta United’s 1-2 loss to the Crew At Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday night.
But the goal wasn’t the only bad news from the opening minute. Fullback Ronald Hernandez, who came into the team for the injured Andrew Gutman as Gonzalo Pineda’s only change, collided with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and hurt his knee. Awesome.
Atlanta pushed forward after the goal and to their credit racked up a solid .8 xG in the rest of the half. But the half also included Alex De John getting isolated against Erik Hurtado, who beat the defender easily and doubled the visitors’ lead.
Maybe the most newsworthy part of the game from an Atlanta perspective was that Josef Martinez came on at halftime to play more minutes than anyone would have expected. However, the second half was somehow worse than the first — at least from an attacking standpoint — for Atlanta. Sitting on a comfortable lead, Columbus was rarely forced out of their organized shape, and proved the deserved victors on the night. Dom Dwyer saved some face, scoring a pretty outrageous overhead kick in added time, but it was too little too late.
The loss will certainly be a tough one to swallow for Atlanta, who will have to stew on it over the upcoming international break. The loss (and the points for Columbus) pushes Atlanta below the playoff line. And the game leaves more questions than answers for how Gonzalo Pineda can try to make this team more solid and difficult to play against.
Instead of giving you our full player ratings now, we’ll get your reactions first. Below is a ratings form for you to fill out with how you rate each Atlanta United player’s performance. Feel free to head down to the comments section and leave your thoughts on the match as a whole or give your detailed explanation of your ratings. You can view the results by clicking to see previous responses after voting. Our ratings will be out shortly.
Here’s a mobile-friendly link to the ballot. The in-post ballot only works on desktop due to issues out of my control.