Atlanta United and interim head coach Rob Valentino failed 1-0 against Caleb Porter’s Columbus Crew at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, despite firing 19 shots and playing their best game of the season to date.
“I feel bad for [the fans]because we talked a lot about her before the game, about an achievement she would be proud of … and I’m disappointed for her, “said Valentino. “As long as I am able to help, I will make sure that the message gets through.”
Atlanta United opened the game off brilliantly, moving forward and nearly scoring a goal in the first two minutes. Josef Martinez, who made his first start since Gabriel Heinze left, played a key role in creating the opportunity. Jake Mulraney should probably have seized this opportunity.
I think it’s fair to say the move was an indication of what was to come for the rest of the half. Atlanta was lively and actually wanted to go forward and attack. It was wonderful.
This attacking mindset led to movements like this.
Erik Lopez should probably have ended that.
On the stats side, Atlanta beat United Columbus in the first half. The Five Stripes created eight shots to the four of Columbus. It was another bright sign that the New Manager Bump is having a positive impact on Atlanta United. The xg numbers looked pretty good in the first half too.
The first half wasn’t all of Atlanta, however. Jake Mulraney and Alan Franco took a few last minute interventions to keep Columbus from taking the lead early. Erik Hurtado also missed the goal from the penalty area. Do you see # 33 on the shot card? That’s that effort.
About 10 minutes into the second half, Marcelino Moreno almost achieved this amazing performance.
Then the crew hit the first goal of the game. Jonathan Mensah headed the ball on Anton Walkes and past Alec Kann.
“They like to find the nearby post and slide it onto the back post,” Lennon said. “We’ve been watching this on video all week. it’s really heartbreaking to admit it because we’ve studied it. [It was] really a punch in the pit of the stomach. “
The final phase was pretty hectic. Atlanta probably could have scored a goal. Columbus could probably have added one more. In the end, Atlanta couldn’t overtake Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room and the game ended 1-0 for Columbus.
While Atlanta suffered yet another defeat, there are positives to be taken from this game. First, it was just more entertaining than most of the games Atlanta United has played this season. The chances were there but no one could finish and of course that would keep coming back to haunt Atlanta United.
The New Manager Bump is very real and Atlanta United continues to ride that wave. Atlanta probably isn’t lucky enough to leave this game with nothing. The full-time xG numbers are quite an indication of that.
Josef is back. Maybe not back. But he’s back on the line-up, playing 90 minutes for the first time since Atlanta’s 2-2 draw with Nashville in May. If more chances are created, you have to consider that Josef will shoot a few shots into the net at some point. Today he almost made it. Josef also came by and helped set up, created three chances and shot two shots.
“If he feels like he has gotten under the ball and is a link-up player, he will,” said Walkes. “Nine out of ten today if he [did] that, I looked at him afterwards, he did [it to] the box. That’s always a good sign. He is all due credit, he seemed to be getting into the right areas and opportunities will arise. We look forward to it. “
Given how things went before the Cincinnati game, these last two appearances should give Atlanta fans at least some hope. If the current trend continues, the opportunities for Atlanta will continue to emerge and will eventually be cleared away. At this point, one can really only hope for it.
The squad has Sunday off to rest and refuel before preparing for Atlanta United’s away game against Orlando City next Friday at Exploria Stadium. At the time of publication, Orlando City ranks second in the Eastern Conference. ÓScar Pareja’s squad will face NYCFC at 6pm tomorrow
Kanye West too. Why is he like that.