Because of the quick turnaround, we’re going to do a two-game ratings mashup here for Atlanta United’s squad members that prominently featured over the course of the long weekend against New York Red Bulls and NYCFC.
GK Rocco Rios Novo 5 - It wasn’t the greatest weekend for the young goalkeeper, particularly in the second game against NYCFC where there was some clear confusion in front of goal and he was beaten again to his near post. But on the other hand, he was fascinating to watch on the ball against New York Red Bulls and was a definite help to the team in that match. With new signing Raul Gudiño now available to play, I suspect Rios Novo will resume his role as a backup. If that’s the case, he performed his role admirably.
LB Caleb Wiley 6 - Yes, he made a significant error against Red Bulls that caused points to be dropped and arguably started the slide toward the loss. But outside of that, he was very good in the game. And more importantly, he bounced back and was one of the best players on the team in the game following the big mistake.
CB Alan Franco 5 - Similar to Wiley, Franco had one excellent game (Red Bulls, where he played as the central center back in a back three) and one in which he made at least one key mistake that led to Taty Castellanos’ 37th minute goal when he made a poor decision to try to set an offside trap.
CB George Campbell 5 - Campbell struggled a bit under the duress of Red Bull’s pressure and the tight confines of Yankee Stadium. But while it wasn’t the prettiest at all times, he wasn’t at clear fault for any goals and generally did a suitable job.
CB Alex De John 4 - This is tough because I honestly thought he played very well in his game against Red Bulls... outside that one big error. But to highlight the kind of thing he did well, he started Atlanta’s best attacking buildup of the weekend and possibly of the season.
RB Aiden McFadden 6 - Not grading him on a curve given his lack of first team experience, but if I was it’s be around an 8. THe guy has stepped into the lineup without missing a beat, and the team looks in no way limited in what they want to do with him on the field. Huge testament to him, and I’d expect him to be signed to a first team deal in the offseason (or later this week, if that’s how they plan to add him to the roster for the rest of the season).
CM Franco Ibarra 6 - Bounced back from his worst game of the season against Toronto with a workmanlike effort against Red Bulls. Interestingly, he was not the deepest lying midfielder when playing as part of a true three-man midfield, which I thought suited him better. It allowed him to roam around and pressure the ball instead of having to sit back and read the game. Perhaps worrying that he was not in the matchday squad against NYCFC
CM Matheus Rossetto 7 - He probably wasn’t expecting to start both games after Emerson Hyndman was a late scratch against NYCFC, but he played his role extremely well in both games. He only had 3 incomplete passes (95 percent) on the narrow pitch at Yankee Stadium. And playing as the deepest midfielder against Red Bulls, he did his job very well.
CM Amar Sejdic 6 - Did you realize Sejdic also started both of these games? If not, it’s a testament to Sejdic, who plays a role on the squad and in the 11 where if you don’t notice him, it’s probably a good thing. He keeps the ball moving relatively quickly and offers enough defensively to be a solid replacement when called upon.
FWD Marcelino Moreno 4 - Only really played substainally in the NYCFC game and did not get very involved. Unlike Sejdic, a player like Moreno is a player you want to notice on the field, and that didn’t happen much. Also telling that Pineda ultimately decided not to use Moreno as a 60th-minute sub against Red Bulls like the manager said he’d originally planned.
FWD Thiago Almada 6 - Obviously was only able to play in the NYCFC game, but made an instant impact on the team with his assist to Josef Martinez. It’s notable how strong Almada is on the ball. He does not go down easy and is very capable of shrugging off tackles long enough to release the ball to a free runner.
FWD Ronaldo Cisneros 6 - Cisneros was only okay against Red Bulls — found himself on the end of a couple chances but could not convert. He gets a 6 for the assist in the final moments against NYCFC, where he did very well to feint and put his marking defender off balance, allowing him to get in behind and ultimately deliver the asssist to Dom Dwyer
FWD Luiz Araujo 7 - Incredibly gutsy effort from Araujo playing as many hard minutes as he did over the weekend, particularly after getting kicked to hell against Toronto coming into the game that had his shin looking awfully scraped and bruised. His creativity was on display and he always looks dangerous in front of goal.
FWD Josef Martinez 7 - For as disappointing as some aspects of the weekend were, we should all be very encouraged that Josef Martinez is scoring goals on a regular basis again. And yes, while the RBNY goal was a tap in, the goal scored against NYCFC looked like the Josef we know — on a sprint and contorting his body in the air to make solid contact with a header into the bottom corner.
FWD Dom Dwyer 8 - What more can you say about this guy? He’s perfect at the job he’s called upon to do .