Atlanta United lost 2-0 to New York Red Bulls Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. With three games remaining in the MLS regular season, Atlanta sits with a one-point lead over Red Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.
Atlanta created its best chance of first half in the 10′ minute, as Eric Remedi played a through ball to Miguel Almirón who sprinted behind the defense but had his shot saved by Luis Robles. Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 39′, with Daniel Royer converting a penalty kick after Chris McCann was called for a handball in the box off a Red Bulls corner.
In the 74′, after a cleared Red Bulls corner, Alex Muyl made a run behind the Atlanta defense and played the ball past a charging Brad Guzan and across the face of goal to Tim Parker, who tapped the ball into the net to make it 2-0.
New York was awarded its second penalty of the match in the 85′ when Eric Remedi was ruled for a handball, but Brad Guzan made a diving save to his right to stop Alejandro Romero Gamarra’s penalty attempt. The Atlanta attack continued to try to find space behind the Red Bulls back line, and in the 90′, the two second-half substitutes combined when Ezequiel Barco played Brandon Vazquez through but his shot was saved by Robles.
The difference maker in this match was definitely Luis Robles. If it wasn’t for his goalkeeping efforts for New York, Atlanta would’ve at least earned a draw. Instead, they defeated the top-ranked five stripes without their two best players Bradley Wright-Phillips and Tyler Adams.
After the match, Red Bulls manager Chris Armas appeared to get in a spat with Almirón which caused Atlanta’s Tata Martino to separate the two and pass on shaking Armas’ hand. It was unclear at the time what happened but Tata briefly touched on that after the match. “I went to separate him from Miguel because I think they were arguing and I went to take Miguel out of it. I don’t know what they were arguing about but I saw that they were starting to talk and I went to take Miguel out of it. I like coaches with a low profile.”
It wasn’t their best performance and I knew something was amiss when you’re down by two goals and you pull the league’s top goalscorer. This loss paired with the Tata rumors swirling (if he’ll indeed leave for the Mexican National Team) is not good. Fans will be hoping that these last pair of home matches along with citywide support for the club will reignite the spark they need for the Supporters Shield and the playoffs.
Atlanta United (19-6-6, 63 points) returns to action Saturday, Oct. 6 when they host the New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (3:30 p.m., Univision, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD