Atlanta United came away with another home victory Sunday afternoon, this time against Eastern Conference foe New York City FC. The win gave the Five Stripes 42 points so far this season, which is good enough for second place. Here are my three thoughts on the match:
Build the statue for Josef Martinez
I could start this by talking about how Josef Martinez has been one of the most electrifying professional athletes to ever play in the city of Atlanta. I could also mention how Josef has scored 70 goals in two and a half seasons, which is the most by any MLS player in a three-year span. I could also talk about how Josef basically won almost every individual and team award last season in a year that ended with Atlanta winning the championship. I could also mention how Josef has now scored in 10 straight matches in MLS matches this season but instead, I will leave you with this quote by Brad Guzan that sums up everything I have just said in one simple sentence, “What record doesn’t he have now? Jeez.”
Where are the De Boer out people?
In the first few months of Frank De Boer as the manager of Atlanta, he had to adjust to a new team, a new league, had the unfortunate timing of key players suffering long-term injuries, which led to players playing out of position.
Now, most of Atlanta’s injured players are coming back and the team is playing a style of soccer that is somewhat similar to 2018, which in turn has led to positive results. The Five Stripes are in the final of the U.S. Open Cup and are fighting for a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference and have a chance to win MLS Cup once again.
If you had told that this is where the team would be at the beginning of the season, I would had probably taken those odds. Also, for the record, I was never one of those De Boer out people when he had just managed Atlanta just over a month.
Please win on the road
This team has shown that it can win games on its home turf, which is great. But being able to obtain points in the road is difficult but it’s something the team is going to have to do if they want to keep pace in first place for the Eastern Conference. At the moment, Atlanta has just three wins and eight losses in the road, which is kind of in the middle of the pack when compared with the rest of the league but out of Atlanta’s last nine regular season matches, six of them will be on the road.
With the difference between second place and seventh place being a slim nine points, I hope that this trend of positive results can continue forward on the road, otherwise the Five Stripes will be heading towards a nervous ending to the regular season.