Atlanta United Woes Continue


Ashfiq Islam, Staff Writer

Three years ago to the date, Atlanta United played their first game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium and won 3-0. Yesterday, Atlanta lost 2-1 to Inter Miami. This Atlanta team is very different from our 2018, MLS Cup-winning side. This team is lost and has no purpose. This team is just downright bad. 

On Wednesday, Atlanta played their youngest squad ever, after selling Pity Martinez to a Saudi Arabian side earlier this week. Early in the game against Inter Miami, Atlanta played and looked sloppy. Inter had the ball in Atlanta’s half for most of the beginning and had many scoring opportunities. They scored after an Atlanta defender, Emerson Hyndman, decided to stop running halfway through his defense attempt, and due to that, Miami scored. 5 minutes later, Eric Remedi slotted in a sloppy goal, but it was an equalizer nevertheless. Luckily, minutes later, Atlanta earned back a penalty, which should’ve been easily put in. Notice how I said should’ve. Ezequiel Barco stepped up to the spot and whiffed the penalty, but luckily it was slotted in by another player, but the goal was denied as he had stepped off the line too early. As the goal had been revoked, Atlanta got to take the penalty again. Unfortunately, Barco missed it again. Atlanta ended up losing the game 2-1 after their sloppy defense let Miami score a second goal. Players Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Break Shea who were former Atlanta players, played for Miami in that game, and respectfully, neither of them celebrated the win. Earlier this week, Atlanta tied Orlando City 1-1. 

Atlanta’s next game is against Nashville, which is one of two teams that they have beat this year… two teams. Atlanta has only beaten two teams this year. Currently, Atlanta lies in 8th place in the MLS Standings. A win would push them to 5th, but that’s still not good enough. Atlanta’s main problem is its defense; it’s a mess. There are times when they shine, but that’s always in the last 5 minutes of the match when the game has already been lost. The loss of Josef Martinez in the attack has had a dramatic effect on the team, but they’ve been somewhat successful in the attack. The problem is that the attack can never receive the ball because the defense can never deliver the ball. The problem is that Atlanta is disoriented. Of course, selling ¾ of our trophy winning side and Martinez being injured for the season didn’t help, but no one expected Atlanta to only have three wins by mid-September. Atlanta recently sold Pity Martinez for a supposedly hefty fee. Now, this could either spell complete disaster for the club, as he was our second-best player, or we can use the money and invest in our defense and improve. If we can improve and strengthen the defense, maybe we can actually stop the opposition from having the ball for 80% of the game. Maybe we can actually have more than 5 shots on goal the entire game.

Overall, for an MLS team that won the 2018 MLS Cup and won three trophies in 2019, this recent stint for Atlanta has been embarrassing. If Atlanta doesn’t get back on their feet soon, they’re going to be known as a team that fell from grace. As a loyal fan, I will always support this team, but if they don’t change soon, they can expect less and less support. Atlanta needs to realize their problems and fix them.