A hard fought game in Seattle ended in a 0 – 0 draw. While the result is one to be proud of, traveling to last years champions and earning a point, it was not won in glamorous fashion. For the first time this season Atlanta looked out played and out possessed for most of the match. The first half showed initial promise, with the majority of possession going to the visitors. The second half, on the other hand, left much to be desired from the point of Atlanta.
Julian Gressel, while being issued a yellow in the first half for a high tackle, showed the most energy on and off the ball. The young, first year draft pick out of Providence, showed up with a high work rate and tenacious style that dictated the center of the pitch. His aggressive style sets the tone in the middle of the park. The back four, Garza, Mears, Parkhurst, and Gonzalez Pirez, proved to be the difference in the match.
Atlanta played in a new 4-3-3 setup, and their inexperience and discomfort for the formation showed. The lack of width, in an already wider pitch, gave Seattle far too much space to possess the ball and dictate the run of play. Compensating for the loss of Josef Martinez, Hector Villalba lead the attack from the front. While there were spurts of brilliance, the overall consensus must be felt that missing Martinez is a critical blow to Atlanta’s attack.
All in all, the result is one to be proud of, however, the manner in which the result was achieved is far from ideal. Atlanta look forward to Toronto next week in game two of the extended road trip.
Three games in and Atlanta United look a formidable outfit. Following the home defeat in game one to NY Red Bulls (1-2), Atlanta bounced back with a 6-1 victory on the road at Minnesota. In what can only be described as a snow globe match, Atlanta looked the purely better side maintaining majority possession. Led by Josef Martinez, and the first hat trick in Atlanta United history, Atlanta looked almost comparable to a veteran squad.
Last Week Atlanta returned home to face Chicago Fire. It too was a cut and dry 4-0 victory for the hosts, making it the first home victory in club history. Some might argue that Atlanta was so dominant due to the sending off of Chicago Fire Midfielder, J. Kappelhof (#4), early in the first half, but, it was clear Atlanta had the momentum early on in this one and had no plans of letting off.
Josef Martinez netted two more in this match, including one that was named MLS, “Goal Of The Week.” Martinez and Garza were both named to the MLS, “Team Of The Week,” for the second consecutive week. Shortly after asserting his dominance in Minnesota and back in Atlanta, Martinez was converted from on loan to confirmed as a permanent transfer.
With the MLS home opener less than a week away, the big question for Atlanta United supporters, and league officials, is what are Atlanta United going to do about their International player cap issue. with nine (9) available international spots, and twelve (12) remaining international players on the active roster, Atlanta have to make some moves to make the squad eligible for the home opener.
Today Atlanta United announced that International players Chris McCann and Kenwyan Jones have successfully received their paperwork for Green Cards, making them legal US nationals in the eyes of the MLS. This lowers our remaining international players list to ten (10) leaving only one player out. With plenty of roomers surrounding this move we will keep you up to date on all the developments as they come in.
Atlanta united and Crossroads are partnering today (2/27/17) in a Give and Go drive from 7:00 am o 7:00pm, where they are taking donations of household items for the homeless population in Atlanta. To view more information on locations and what type of items are accepted, please click here to view the official ATL UTD flyer for the event! #MarchToMarch
Atlanta United FC and Fox Sports South announced this morning (2/21/17) that they have agreed upon a multi year TV deal. Starting in the 2017 MLS season, of which 19 games will be televised, including the home opener March 5th against the New York Red Bulls. The remaining 15 games will be televised nationally by either ESPN, FOX Sports or Univision.
Atlanta United’s front office states it has sold over 27,000 season tickets for the home opener March 5th, which is more than half of the 40,000 in attendance.
Fox Sports has already dipped their proverbial toe in the soccer world by picking up the Barclays Premier League a few years ago. The MLS was a logical next step for the American network. Atlanta United will be hiring their own on air personalities, including play-by-play and sideline personnel.
Saturday marked the first MLS preseason match for Atlanta United FC, and set in motion the “March to March,” for the inaugural 2017 MLS campaign. Atlanta took on Columbus Crew in Charleston to open the 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup. At the half Atlanta led 1-0 off of an early header from Josef Martinez (#7). After the break, however, the experience of Columbus proved too much for the newly appointed Atlanta side to handle. After a brace from veteran forward, Federico Higuain, Columbus looked the more polished side holding out to finish the match 2-1.
Tata’s starting eleven looked just like the one from a few weeks ago in Chattanooga with one exception, Josef Martinez started in the place of Yamil Asad, who suffered a minor calf contusion in training prior to the match. Five changes were made in the second half, Jacob Peterson, Mark Bloom, Julian Gressel, Harrison Heath, and Andrew Carleton.
While it was not the result Atlanta United, and their fans, might have wanted, you must give credit where credit is due. After only one prior match, and it being Atlanta’s first taste of MLS competition, a 2-1 closely contested defeat is not a bad result. Preseason is about building up to the regular season and ironing out the kinks. For a first year side, it is not logical to have nothing to work on.
Tata and Atlanta United FC have named their first captain for the inaugural 2017 season. Michael Parkhurst, the American international, comes to Atlanta from the Columbus Crew, where he spent the past three seasons, accumulating 100 appearances.
Parkhurst entered the MLS in 2005, when he won rookie of the year, and only two years later winning the MLS Defender of the Year Award, all at New England Revolution. In 2008 Parkhurst left New England, and the MLS, for FC Nordsjælland, of the Danish Superliga, where he appeared 106 times over 4 seasons. After a brief stint in the German Bundesliga with FC Augsburg, Parkhurst returned to the MLS for the Columbus Crew in 2014. From 2007 – 2014 Parkhurst represented the USMNT earning himself 25 international caps.
Parkhurst will play the role of engineer among Atlanta’s solid back four, which impressed in Chattanooga a few weeks ago.