Atlanta United’s formation switch-inspired resurgence is about to face perhaps its biggest test yet. The Five Stripes have already done admirably to pick up six points out of six available against Philadelphia and Montreal, but in order to extend that streak it’ll have to survive on the road against New England Revolution in a rare midweek MLS matchday
New England sits third in the East with 37 points, just two ahead of Atlanta. Bruce Arena’s side boasts the 3rd best attack (36 goals scored) and 5th best defense (27 conceded) in the East and has been consistently racking up points all season, with the exception of one slow patch in May that is now firmly in the rearview mirror after 3 wins from 4 in June. A key figure behind those victories was Bobby Wood, who leads New England’s goal-scoring charts with 7 tallies and 4 assists alongside Carles Gil (7g, 3a). Gustavo Bou is also capable of banging in a goal or two with 4 goals and 3 assists to his name. The Wood-Bou strike partnership will put Atlanta’s three-man backline to the test, but most worrying of all for Pineda’s side will be Carles Gil. The Spaniard scored a brace on Atlanta in the reverse fixture and will be on full rest after missing the Revs’ weekend game, a defeat to the Red Bulls.
Atlanta, meanwhile, edged past Montreal 1-0 thanks to continued Thiago Almada magic (with Brooks Lennon the main benefitting party) and a newfound defensive solidity via a back three. Atlanta managed reasonably well without Giorgos Giakoumakis up front, who remains questionable, but beating New England is going to require a bit more from the side pieces like Miguel Berry (unlikely unless he can recreate that wonder strike volley from the reverse fixture) or Derrick Etienne Jr., back from a stint with Haiti in the Gold Cup. Even just a draw would be a very respectable result, however, especially considering the alarm bells ringing a few weeks ago in regards to Atlanta’s upcoming stretch of schedule. Two games in, however, things couldn’t have gone much better and a result from Gillette Stadium would only continue that trend.
Atlanta has a 5W-4D-3L lead in the all-time series but hasn’t won since 2019, including a 3-3 draw at the Benz earlier this season.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: New England Revolution 0-0 Atlanta United
The Five Stripes won’t quite make it three wins out of three, but it will do enough to stay unbeaten thanks to another shutout. The lack of Giakoumakis will make handing the Revs a first home defeat of the season a bit too much to ask for, however.