Atlanta United – D.C. United: Atlanta Dominate From Start To Finish In Eastern Conference Brawl (2-0)
The second and third-placed teams in the MLS Eastern Conference faced off in an extremely one-sided clash that saw D.C. United being put under extreme pressure. A late penalty miss by Josef Martínez seemed to save D.C. initially, yet in the end, they had to capitulate.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Atlanta United’s biggest win of the season (a 5-0 hammering over Houston Dynamo) ensured they entered this encounter with a breath of fresh air, after two losses and one draw in their three previous games. As mentioned in the article about Atlanta’s loss against the Seattle Sounders, injuries have played a big part in their slump in form, meaning it was only normal that the players selected to play would need time to build chemistry with one another. This was especially the case in defense, where George Bello, Florentin Pogba, Mikey Ambrose and Brek Shea were all unavailable for the match.
Just like their opponents, D.C. United managed to get a win after a run of three winless outings. With Wayne Rooney forfeiting due to a minor injury, the visitors had to make do without their most important player, as Rooney is leading his side both in goals and assists. Manager Ben Olsen fielded Bill Hamid in goal, behind the defense composed of Leonardo Jara, Donovan Pines, Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, and Joseph Mora; in midfield featured Júnior Moreno and Russel Canouse, whilst the attacking midfielders Lucas Rodríguez . . .