Today Atlanta United face off against 3rd place NYCFC, who trail United in the standings by only one point. United has been playing extremely well lately, and some good news is that the MLS leading scorer Josef Martinez is said to be making his return to the starting XI. Atlanta has won 5 of our last 8 games, and has been holding possession, not giving away the ball cheaply, and most of all scoring goals. In the last aforementioned 8 games United has racked up 20 goals.
NYCFC is not built like a lot of the teams in the MLS. They aren’t even constructed like they were when they came into the MLS signing former world stars like the Spanish magician David Villa, and the Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. They have been in good form lately and it will certainly be a great match up. The game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which always plays to our strengths. Every game in Atlanta is played in front of a raucous crowd that the players admit helps them rally with enthusiasm.
Guzan can expect to get a lot of shots on goal as NYCFC have a good attacking game with over 100 shots on target so far this season. This game also means a lot in the standings. If United win they go 4 points clear of the 3rd place team in the Eastern Conference. With a loss they will swap 2nd place with United. If the current play of United is what is seen on the pitch today a win would be expected. NYCFC are a very tough opponent, even though their lineup may not suggest it at first glance. They play a very high paced counter attacking style which can catch teams on the back foot.
With kickoff beginning at 3:55 this afternoon this game is an important one to win, given the matches Campeones Cup coming up, along with the final of the US Open Cup. Atlanta needs to be in good form going into the games against the clubs that MLS teams only see during the tournament. Frank de Boer’s men are always up for a challenge and this game will certainly be just that.