Atlanta to begin rematch of last years MLS Cup with Portland

Bryce Ros

Tonight Atlanta faces off against The Portland Timbers in The Great Northwest of the United States. The Timbers are a well respected team in the MLS, and will certainly give Atlanta a test after the thrilling Campeones Cup win against Club America. Names like Diego Valeri and Brian Fernandez on the lineup; it could be easy to guess that Portland could very well be the team we face off against if Atlanta were to make it to the final this season. However with the new LAFC in town there has been a different dominance in the Western Conference so far this year.

The main worry for Atlanta going into the match up will be how we will line up defensively against the Timbers? They sport a great midfield along with some very fast strikers. Will Atlanta play the 3 men back as we did against Club America? The 3 at the back defending has been somewhat worrying over the past few games. Although they have been wins it seems that when United play 3 at the back, it’s almost like they are chasing on defense for the entire match. Thankfully Guzan has been playing well for the past few games, but that has been at our home field where the Atlanta fans give The 5 Stripes a decided advantage against whoever they face.

If we add to this the fact that Atlanta was the team that beat Portland last year for the MLS Cup, it will certainly make the game more exciting. The teams are quite a bit different on both sides from the two that faced off last year, but there will almost certainly be an underpinning of tension between Portland and Atlanta given the history between the match up. The other interesting part to this game has been the scoring of Atlanta striker Josef Martinez who is now on his 12th consecutive game where he has scored a goal. The form of the star striker as well as the great form of Guzan will be keys to the Atlanta win. As long as we are not chasing back and can hold onto possession, United as always have a great chance of winning the game.