It’s Monday, and blues are in full force, Manchester City is playing at Stoke and that’s all we get. However, America’s most beloved ugly duckling of professional leagues is most certainly back and boy did Atlanta let everyone know.
Atlanta United 3-1 DC United
Of course the lead is Atlanta United. Not only did they break the MLS attendance record, their own record, at 72,035. In addition, they totally took the game by the horns and never really let go. And on top of all that, they finally get the win which eluded them all last season against DC. While the score line will suggest a much greater gap in ability between the two, DC United again had a mostly good performance, it was within reach most of the game until a breakdown that led to two quick goals late in the second half. The attack for Atlanta came out very strong testing the resolve of the DC defense.
Despite the defense playing very well overall it was in the 25th minute when the first goal would drop in Atlanta’s favor. Josef Martinez makes a tap in at the far post after Villalba put a laser guided ball through the corridor of uncertainty, between the keeper and the defense.
This was not at all the type of movement or formation seen in the first week when Atlanta was demolished 4-0 at Houston. To give a somewhat quick summary, Tata Martino decided to play a 5 in the back, with Larentowicz as a holding midfielder in front of the defense. The important note here is the wing backs (Garza and Gressel) were very free to push down the wings to overload the defense and keep possession better. It wasn’t just attacking power, the formation was very flexible to turn into a solid block that could defend the DC United counter attack.
One major reason for the change may be Parkhurst was back at match fitness which was not much of an option last game and he could help strengthen that back line.
Overall, Atlanta played a fantastic game of catching DC United in retreat after losing the ball and capitalizing on their mistakes. It was a positive bounce back from a terrible first game, against a team that is looking to have potential this season.
Around the league:
NYCFC beat the LA Galaxy 2-1 on their way to a great home opener on their trademark mini sized field. The Galaxy looked much better at home last week and Lletget still looked a threat, but the offense overall still looked lackluster. One of the Dos Santos brothers scored, but not the one you think, which kind of sums up Gio’s contribution.
Columbus beats Montreal at home 3-2, and overall a good game for the Crew and the Impact. Note on this game Zardes keeps on scoring, two in this game, was it really the change of environment or just the system?
Brad Friedel and his New England Revs get their first win of the season, and his coaching career, over a not great Colorado team. Good on them, but is Nguyen going to leave after all, and how would that impact an already sub-par team, hard times to come.
LAFC continues their great start to their MLS tenure with another win, this time 1-5 at Real Salt Lake. In strong contrast to the Galaxy this offense is firing on all cylinders. 5 goals in any away match is a huge accomplishment. Bob Bradley is looking to showcase what he can do in this league with some talent. Exciting future for LAFC if things stay this trajectory.
The Timbers looking rough against a young inexperienced New York Red Bulls, losing 0-4 away, things might not be so rosy this year in Portland.
Minnesota pulls of an impressive win in another amazing MLS atmosphere when they arrived at Orlando, Ethan Finlay is looking to lead this team to greener pastures. Score 1-2 Minnesota.
Dynamo surprisingly fall to a Whitecaps team, after dismantling the talented Atlanta squad. Whitecaps have been under the radar, bad game for Dynamo or great game from Whitecaps?
Shootout in Chicago, Kansas City pulls through 4-3, Chicago’s home opener is in disappointment, not that it was very well attended to begin with, they still have Nikolic and Schweinsteiger, too early to fear for Chicago.
Sorry for the long post, but a lot of things to establish, future posts most likely will be shorter, Thanks for reading if you stayed through!