In case you haven’t noticed, Atlanta’s most recent professional club has had quite the debut. Starting last year on a magical run to the playoffs and carrying over into this season, Atlanta United FC are drawing the biggest crowds in MLS history (72,035) and currently sit atop the standings in all of MLS (22 pts).
Pssst. Just an FYI, Atlanta United haven’t lost since March 3rd.
After starting the season on a down note, getting blasted 4-0 to Houston, Atlanta United have gone on an unbeaten streak that will get put to the test today Wednesday, May 9th. Atlanta United come into the match leading all MLS with a +13 goal differential, 22 points in the standings, and a record of 7-1-1.
Atlanta United have been killing it to say the least, especially at home. At the Benz, Atlanta United have won 3-1, 4-1, 5-0, 4-1 with a 2-2 tie against the 2nd place team in the Eastern Conference. They’ve been doing it behind the 2 top goal scorers in all of MLS. Josef Martinez and Miguel Almirón sit #1 and #2 with 7 and 6 goals, respectively. We have 6 other players with 1 goal a piece and Kevin Kratz has his 2 from the 4-1 win over Montreal.
Miguel Almirón has been stellar all year. Miggy is our top Assist leader (5) and shot taker (49 shots, 13 on goal). He plays with such a high motor and speed that sometimes I wonder how he has anything left in the tank by the end of the game. According to mlssoccer.com, Almirón ranks 4th in the player of the year standings.
As a whole, The Five Stripes are fun to watch. We are #1 in goals (23), tied for 2nd in assists (19), and are 6th in shots taken (131). We are also 3rd in yellow cards with 22. Some people might not care for the yellow cards, but I think it shows the level of intensity we utilize on the field and how we are coming at you from all aspects of the game.
Tonight will be one of the toughest matches for The Five Stripes, as we look to keep our unbeaten streak alive as #1 takes on #1 in the West Sporting Kansas City. SKC plays an uptempo attack and likes to put the pressure on goalkeepers, leading the league in both Shots Taken (186) and Shots On Goal (66). SKC holds a +9 goal differential and a 6-2-2 record. However, on the road they are 2-1-1 this season.
Brad Guzan will have his work cut out for him today with Johnny Russell and the rest of Sporting KC in town. SKC in their last 2 games have had a 1-0 win against Colorado and a 1-0 loss to New England on the road. If our defense comes to play and we can disrupt their tempo, then I like our chances to come out of tonight with another “W” and 3 more points added to the standings.
This year has been special since adding some additional players to our playoff roster. Now that everyone seems to be flowing nicely together, the future is ours here in Atlanta. Atlanta United just might be the next team to bring one home to Atlanta. However, the season is long and tonight is just another step for us as we try to make history in the south.
Go Five Stripes!