Atlanta United – New York Red Bulls: New York Salvage Point In Feisty Six-Goal Thriller (3-3)
Amidst a calamitous ninety minutes of nearly non-stop injuries, Atlanta and New York tussled until the end in what was as much an interesting tactical battle – featuring intense pressing formations and direct plays – as it was a toss-up between two MLS rivals.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Atlanta have failed to beat New York Red Bulls on every occasion aside from in the MLS Playoff semi-final last year, on route to winning the MLS Cup. Sitting two points apart at the top end of the table, a win could lift either side into second place with two games in hand on first-placed Philadelphia Union.
In light of this opportunity - and considering Atlanta’s 5-1 drubbing away at Chicago Fire in midweek - manager Frank de Boer made a total of five changes. Florentin Pogba was given a starting role in the center of defense due to Leandro González Pírez’s sending off. Elsewhere, top scorer Josef Martínez – back from the Copa América – took Brandon Vázquez’s place up front, whilst Eric Remedi and Justin Meram were restored to the starting eleven as well.
Surprisingly enough, Chris Armas’ Red Bulls were also subject to a four-goal deficit in midweek, against Houston Dynamo. He made four changes. Michael Murillo’s suspension was catered for by having Kyle Duncan move from left back to right back. Sean Nealis took Connor Lade’s place in the center of defense whilst Andreas Ivan and Tom Barlow were replaced by Daniel Royer and Marc Rzatkowski, as Armas switched from a 4-4-2 diamond to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
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