Atlanta United returns to action in the Benz this weekend as the United from DC visits Atlanta for the second time this season. After an extremely frustrating tie with the Sounders last weekend, Atlanta will hope to gain another three points to aid in their quest for the Supporters Shield.
DC, in all honesty, have been quite horrendous this season. They currently sit in 11th place in the the Eastern Conference with 14 points, but they’ve played six less games than Atlanta’s 21 games played. With the opening of Audi Field, DC’s new home stadium, DC have 14 home games for the remainder of the season and they could use this run of games to make a late push for the playoffs.
DC have proven to be a bogey team to Atlanta United in the past, downing the Five Stripes three times out of the three tries last season. DC outscored Atlanta 6-2 last season across those three games, but Atlanta have already taken three points from DC this season at the Benz.
Atlanta and DC Fans will possibly see two new faces in Atlanta for the first time in Eric Remedi, Atlanta’s new midfield acquisition, and soccer legend Wayne Rooney, DC’s new signing.
Remedi was brought in to replace Carlos Carmona in the middle of the park. Carmona left Atlanta on short notice before the start of the 2018 season due to family reasons and it seems Atlanta United have found their long term replacement. Darlington Nagbe has filled that Carmona sized hole in midfield wonderfully, but picked up an injury earlier in the season that will see him on the sidelines for a few more months.
On the other hand, Wayne Rooney has already made his debut for the Black-and-Red. He featured against the Whitecaps in a 3-1 win in which Yamil Asad scored yet another historic goal in MLS. Rooney also racked up an assist against the Whitecaps and will offer a bright spot for DC with his experience and knowledge.
It’s no secret that teams have been bunkering against Atlanta United at the Mercedes-Benz. With team’s entering the match with a “defend at all costs” mindset (*cough* Seattle *cough*), Atlanta have not been finding spaces to exploit and use against their opponents. However, new signing Remedi can offer a new dynamic to the Five Stripes. During his time at Argentine side Banfield, he broke up attacks and quickly distributed the ball. Atlanta’s attacking quartet can use this to their advantage for counter attacking at speed, something Atlanta excels at when given the opportunity.
Atlanta United can play some of the best soccer in the league, but whenever the game isn’t going their way, they shut down and make things harder for themselves. It’ll be fun to see Yamil Asad again, but most of eyes will be on Wayne Rooney.
Up the Five Stripes.
[Kick off is scheduled for 3:30 PM EST, and 8:30pm UK time]
Written by Kyle Soto – (@KDSJ_99)
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