Atlanta United came into the match hoping to erase Wednesday’s performance from their minds and come out fiery against Western Conference foe Portland Timbers.

In the 32′, the Timbers scored on a set piece right outside of United’s box. Larrys Mabiala capitalized off a Brad Guzan deflection to give the Timbers the crucial first goal.

The Timbers had shown the perfect defending and trapping in the second half. Their backline set multiple offside traps to perfection and had multiple defenders make goal-line clearances. They played tight in their third but made one mistake that United exploited.

The first goal for United came in the 57′ in the second half but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Away from the ball, Darlington Nagbe went down but United continued to play. Thinking they would kick the ball out, I was shocked they continued to attack and the gamble paid off. Julian Gressel caught hold of a Jeff Attinella deflection (similar to Mabiala’s) and fired a rocket into the net.

Portland’s Andrés Flores tried chipping the keeper from about 25 yards out but the attempt sailed over the net. On the opposite end, Tito Villalba launched a long-range attempt from just outside the box but it clanged off the crossbar.

Atlanta’s only problem in attack, as of late, has been missed chances. Their current run of form hasn’t truly reflected the way they’ve played. They were fortunate to pull off a draw tonight but their past few matchups ended with losses. If you just look at the numbers, when a club has 70% possession (Atlanta United) they’re expected to win the match by more than a few goals. 70% is pretty dominant. You add that with 21 shots and 10 of them on target and you see why tonight’s draw is disappointing.

United will get back to practice and prepare for their June 30 matchup with southeast rival Orlando City SC.


-Jon J.

Photos: Courtesy of ATL UTD

*Quotes to come momentarily

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