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.