Atlanta United‘s first dabble into the CONCACAF Champions League was a bipolar mix of emotions. The 1st leg saw us come out flat, with little-to-no chemistry, and consistently get beat on our back line. The 2nd leg was a complete 180 which saw the potential for what we will be later in the year.
Unfortunately for Atlanta United, our history on the road has not been too great. We’ve lost 15 total competitions on the road in our brief history, including 5 of our last 6 road matches. Most recently a 2-0 loss to a much improved DC United team in a torrential downpour in less than ideal temperatures.
Tonight’s game will be played in sub-50 degree temperatures but without any precipitation. No word, as of writing this, on our lineup but one can only hope to see Gressel and Pity Martinez inserted back into our starting 11 if we want to put our best team on the field.
CF Monterrey is no slouch when it comes to the CONCACAF Champions League. Having won the CCL 3 times in the last decade, their fans will be ready and hyped up for this game. They currently sit in 2nd place in Liga MX with 21 points and a record of 6-0-3. They’ve only allowed 8 goals all season while scoring a league leading 22 goals and haven’t lost a home match since September 15th, 2018 (a 4-2 loss to Guadalajara).
If last round’s team was any indication, our back line looks to get worked all game long. The best bet would be to play 4 men back and limit their shots on goal. It won’t be an easy task for us but we’ll need the Martinez connection to come together at least once so we can come away with the golden away goal (Nothing is more valuable right now).
If we can manage to limit Guzan’s workload and put pressure on their back line to come away with an away goal, I will like our chances in the Benz next week. Yesterday’s results for the MLS side wasn’t promising and if Sporting KC (currently down 0-1) can’t come away with a victory, the weight will fall on the reigning MLS champs to represent the league.
It’ll be a hard game to come away with a victory but if anyone can do it, I’m going to put faith in my Five Stripes. Let’s go Atlanta. Unite and Conquer! Let’s make some history.