Starting XI: Alec Kann, Greg Garza, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel, Chris McCann, Yamil Asad, Jacob Peterson, Tito Villalba.
The start to United’s season was almost like a dream. We had a rough first game but that was understandable. What happened in Minnesota and at home against Chicago was absolutely incredible. The Five Stripes (ATL) were hoping to keep that momentum going on their road trip to Seattle.
To start, Atlanta was not solid with the ball at all. It was clear (and this was my fear) that the international break broke the team’s rhythm. When a team is in form like they’ve been in form, the last thing you want for the club is a break.
Because of this, manager Tata Martino opted to rest his three international participants Kenwyne Jones, Miguel Almirón, and Carlos Carmona. All three of these players saw the pitch in the second half.
Our offensive threat was nowhere near as lethal as the last two games. With the absence of Josef Martinez (injury), United opted for Tito Villalba as their lone striker up top.
The first half saw few opportunities for United and Alec Kann had his hands full with Seattle’s attack.
The Sounders saw they weren’t getting as many opportunities on goal as they should, so they rolled the dice in the second half and brought in Clint Dempsey. Dempsey made an immediate impact creating chances and helped his side dominate the second half.
Although Tito’s runs weren’t as deadly as Josef’s, his speed proved deadly on a few chances. Unfortunately, those chances weren’t converted to goals.
Atlanta United’s best chances came late in the second half. The first was a left-footed effort from Almirón and the second was a blocked attempt by Jones.
My man of the Match goes to Greg Garza. Garza had his hands full on the numerous counterattacks from Seattle. He was clearly injured and later collapsed grabbing his hip. That didn’t stop him from stepping back on the pitch moments later and launching a few crosses.
The teams drew nil-nil but considering the circumstances I’ll take it. From the looks of it, we won’t get Martinez back until sometime in May. Atlanta United will travel to Toronto to face Toronto FC next weekend.
Photo: Erick Rossitch