Atlanta United earn tough away point in draw with New York

Atlanta United played to a 0-0 draw against New York Red Bulls on Sunday night in front of 25,219 fans at Red Bull Arena. Brad Guzan made three saves to preserve his fifth consecutive clean sheet with Atlanta. Guzan hasn’t allowed a goal in 482 minutes, which is now the 10th longest streak in MLS history.

Atlanta controlled play for much of the first half and had arguably its best chance to score in the sixth minute. Tito Villalba lofted a cross for Yamil Asad, who headed it on goal, but was denied by a diving Luis Robles.

There will be whispers to boot, after watching a visibly frustrated Josef Martinez was substituted for Kevin Kratz in the second half. Taking his time before walking off the pitch, he opted not to acknowledge Kratz and walked to his seat kicking something before finally sitting down. We need to have our star striker composed if we’re going to go anywhere in the playoffs.

On top of that, this draw hurt us in that we dropped from second to fourth. With the way the other clubs performed today, a win would’ve shot us up to a much needed second place spot. United can clinch a home playoff game in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round with a win over Toronto FC on Sunday, or a Columbus loss to NYCFC. The club can still move into second place in the Eastern Conference – earning a bye into the conference semifinals – with a win over Toronto, coupled with both NYCFC and Chicago Fire dropping points (draw or loss) in their respective matches.

My man of the match is Brad Guzan. The number of saves he came up with earned him the title for the night and his vision to start playing out the back helped keep the pressure on the Red Bulls.

Atlanta United (15-9-9, 54 points) returns to action Sunday, Oct. 22 when it takes on Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 4 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports South.

-Jon J.

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