Atlanta United finished up the MLS reboot in Orlando on July 21, 2020. Like much of 2020, it left fans unsure and uneasy of what is to come for the rest of the year.
Atlanta United took on Columbus Crew SC on Tuesday night and was held scoreless again for the third straight match with a 1-0 loss. Before the season came to an abrupt end due to Covid 19, Atlanta United were 2-0 and scored two goals each in both of their wins. In their first match on Feb. 29, they lost star forward Josef Martinez with a torn ACL.
Following the Tuesday night loss to Columbus, Atlanta has now been held scoreless for almost 400 minutes and have dropped to 2-3. The last two seasons the United club has scored fifty plus goals in 2018 and 2019 with a large part due to Martinez.
But what is the problem this season?
Fans will easily point at the loss of Martinez as for reasons the offense has been struggling, but they didn’t have him in the second match of the season on March 7 and still managed to generate two goals.
Maybe the long layoff from March to July with little to no contact and a short practice time before the reboot has a part in the offensive struggles. But United fans and the club can hang their hat on the defensive effort they showed in the reboot in Orlando. Despite being held scoreless for three matches, the team has only given up three goals in three matches.
Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer spoke on the team’s offensive struggles in Orlando and being kicked out of the tournament.
“Of course we are very disappointed with the result. We were depending on the result of tomorrow night, but still if you are going to leave you want to leave with three points. You want to have that positivity leaving going back home to Atlanta. But now it’s disappointing. That’s normal when you lose three times by the score of 1-0. Very disappointing for everybody that loves Atlanta United.”
It is a lot of uncertainty with the rest of the year for society and the MLS, but Frank de Boer finished his post-game comments Tuesday night promising to turn Atlanta United around and focus on their training again. With all that being said, I think fans are happy to see their beloved Atlanta United team back on the pitch.