Atlanta United had a positive start to its final 10 games of the season after a 2-0 road win against the Seattle Sounders.
The three points increase the Five Stripes’ point total to 38 in 25 games with a 10-8-7 record. Despite being 7th in the Eastern Conference, the team is just five points from second place New England Revolution.
Xande Silva made his Atlanta United debut while Tristan Muyumba and Edwin Mosquera got their first MLS starts. After playing in a 3-4-2-1 for a few games and finding little success, Gonzalo Pineda lined up his boys in a 4-3-3 which is likely the shape we’ll see from them going forward.
The hosts came out pressing the Five Stripes, but Muyumba’s presence in midfield was instrumental in playing through the pressure and creating chances. Atlanta’s efforts were rewarded early when Giorgos Giakoumakis headed a Brooks Lennon corner kick past Stefan Frei to give the Five Stripes a 1-0 lead after 11 minutes. The goal is the Greek’s 11th of the season and Atlanta’s 8th from corner kicks this season.
Atlanta pushed numerous times to extend the lead but was missing the final details to cap off some great attacking play. Seattle started to grow into the game toward the end of the half, outshooting the Five Stripes 8-7 by halftime. Despite this, Atlanta managed to hold the lead until the break.
Although Seattle started as the better team in the second half, Giorgos Giakoumakis doubled his total for the day and put Atlanta ahead 2-0 with another header. With his 12th goal of the season, Giakoumakis now found himself just one away from tying Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar at the top of the MLS Golden Boot race.
You ABSOLUTELY love to see it ⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/V3LGaAToyu— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) August 21, 2023
The Sounders continued to find ways to pick apart an exhausted Atlanta United side, but the Five Stripes were resilient and managed to hold the result until the final whistle to secure an important three points as the season winds down.
Overall, there were many encouraging signs. Muyumba was an absolute beast in midfield, recovering many balls and driving the team forward in possession. Silva showed some impressive skill and passing ability that led to a handful of the chances created early in the game. We still have yet to see what Saba Lobjanidze and Jamal Thiare can bring, but if Muyumba and Silva are anything to go by, fans have good reason to be optimistic.
Atlanta United return to action on Saturday, Aug. 26 when it hosts Nashville SC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments below.