Although United are a few games behind where they were at this point last year, there are many things to be optimistic. Every team has its issues during a season. Sometimes it has to do with disagreements in tactics. That seems to be part of the dynamic of the team this year. Some of the players have voiced concerned over de Boer’s style of play. I love this style of play that is reminiscent of Johan Cruyff’s incredible Barcelona teams.
It could be understood why some players do not like this style of play. First of all, it is extremely difficult to master. Spain won a World cup using a similar “Tiki Taka” possession style and passing central style. Speaking as a half Catalan, the soccer Gods were looking after the 2010 Spanish World Cup squad. Without several incredible saves by Casillas, and David Villa becoming a household name overnight, Spain would almost certainly have lost.
The style is very slow and methodical, and teams who play that method must have phenomenal passers. United has had some issues with holding onto possession this year. The most important factor in United’s success tomorrow is not to overlook The Galaxy as they are missing their top scorer. Even though some players have not liked the change from Tata to de Boer, it’s hard to argue with success. There have been some recent loses that United could have won, but there is never a script to any sporting event.
Atlanta seems to be hitting a good stride at this point in the season. Unlike the Premier League where a relegation system is in place, it creates many different types of seasonal tactics. As with any sport that has a playoff system essentially a new season begins after the regular season ends. However, stopping the Galaxy is more about just a singular win. It is always a plus to beat a team that is highly ranked from the other conference. It allows us to see teams that we could play in the final.
That is still a long way down the road, but a win would certainly bring a boost in morale and belief in the system. Josef Martinez will likely use his speed to make runs between the middle of the depleted Galaxy defense. Martinez has scored twice against the Galaxy in both games that he has played against the club. United also has never lost to the Galaxy, and with their depleted roster it would appear that a healthy United will make it 3-0.