Atlanta United tied its last road match of the regular season Sunday afternoon against Montreal Impact. Here are my three thoughts on the match:
Barquito is back!
Ezequiel Barco finally played its first minutes with Atlanta after suffering an injury awhile back. Barco started the 2019 season on a good note as he became one of the key playmakers in the midfield and looked to be Almiron’s replacement. Barco then left for the Under-20 World with Argentina and after suffering two injuries, he has been missing from the starting 11 for the Five Stripes for quite a while.
With only one regular season match left, it’s a good sign for Barco to come in and get adjusted to game speed before Atlanta will start its postseason run. If Barco doesn’t start on Sunday, expect him to play another 30-35 minutes off the bench.
Atlanta United earned its first draw of the season on the road after the even score north of the border.
This season, the Five Stripes earned 19 points in the road, the same number as in their inaugural season in 2017. Last year though, United obtained 32 road points, the highest in the league.
One thing to note is that with only match remaining for all teams in MLS, only LAFC has earned more than six wins on the road as they have eight. This goes out to show that winning in the road is difficult and also shows the importance of not dropping points at home.
Win and and finish in second place
With a win on Sunday, Atlanta will finish in second place in the Eastern Conference. The second place would guarantee at least two home playoffs, if they advance to the second round. Should NYCFC get knocked out and Atlanta advances to the Eastern Conference final, they would once again host such match.
As we have seen all season, the Five Stripes are a force to be reckoned with at the Benz, so let’s hope the team can finish in second place and play as many home matches in the playoffs as possible.