This is the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. This weekend, millions upon millions of people will turn to their televisions, wishing they were in the stadium, to watch the world’s greatest sporting event of all time. Two teams will battle it out on the world’s biggest stage. Yup. You guessed it. Atlanta versus Seattle at the Mercedes-Benz stadium.
After downing rivals Orlando City 4-0 at the Benz, the Five Stripes travelled to Texas, a cursed state for Atlanta United, to take on FC Dallas where the Toro’s won 3-2. Three days later, Atlanta took on and bested Philadelphia Union 2-0. After a week to rest, Atlanta fans are hoping to see a refreshed and inform Atlanta United.
The Sounders desperately need a win. They currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-9-4, with only one win in their last five matches. However, they do have a bright spot in Will Bruin who has racked up a team high five goals and four assists in 14 matches. Atlanta will want to shut him down to minimise the Sounders’ threat on goal.
Seattle will be without striker Clint Dempsey and Roman Torres due to injury, but Seattle could bring new acquisition Raul Ruidiaz, a Peruvian striker, into the mix if his paperwork is cleared in time.
Going the other way, Atlanta United will have a full strength attack with league leading goal scorer Josef Martinez, Ezequiel Barco, Hector Villalba, and Miguel Almiron, all of which were involved in arguably the goal of the season and the best team goal in club history.
Atlanta currently has a record of 12-4-4 and are leaders for the Supporters Shield and boast a league goal differential of 19 with 42 goals scored and 19 goals conceded.
Greg Garza and Darlington Nagbe are still out due to injury, but left back Mikey Ambrose and utility man Julian Gressel have stepped into those roles and haven’t missed a beat, a testament to Atlanta’s quality and depth.
Atlanta United will be looking to break the MLS record for the highest attendance at a single match, a record set by Atlanta themselves.
I predict a 3-0 win for the Five Stripes.
Written by Kyle Soto – (@kdsj_99)