Atlanta United – San Jose Earthquakes: Matías Almeyda’s Peculiar Game Plan Is Eventually Exploited (3-1)
San Jose Earthquakes went to Atlanta United with one of the worst away records in the Western Conference; just three wins in fifteen. Their manager Matías Almeyda deployed an interesting defensive plan, which held Atlanta for long periods of the game. It wasn’t until the final moments of the game that San Jose were finally broken down.
Tactical match report and analysis by Joel Parker.
With playoff season on the horizon, Matchday 31 featured two clubs in very different levels of form. Current MLS Cup champions Atlanta United have regathered form towards the end of the season, winning eight of their last ten matches in all competitions. Though Frank de Boer has been questioned in his defensive approach – by both fans and players – Atlanta United have recorded the best numbers in the Eastern Conference, in both the number of goals conceded and in expected goals. The amount of goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of the shots they take.
Frank de Boer favored the 4-2-3-1 formation earlier on in the year, but in recent times he has experimented with a variety of three-at-the-back systems. He made no changes to the team that comfortably beat FC Cincinnati in the week – opting for the 3-4-3 formation.
San Jose Earthquakes’ mid-season form saw them firmly maintain a spot in the playoff positions, however, recent results have seen them almost slip out of the top seven, which grants a playoff ticket They sit sixth in the Western Conference, with Portland Timbers just a point behind them in eighth.
Matías Almeyda’s team have lost all five of their . . .