A First Half Hat Trick Extinguishes The Fire.
Ronaldo Cisneros, on loan from Chivas in LIGA MX, Scores Three Times In The First Half To Lead Atlanta To A 4-1 Win.
Using the same starting lineup for the second consecutive week, Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda watched his team score early and often yesterday before a home crowd of 42,547 at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The following is my takeaway from the 4-1 win over Chicago.
Atlanta came into yesterday's game on a four-game winless streak and a severe goal drought. Chicago came into the game with one of the league's better defenses with only giving up seven goals through nine games. The scenario did not follow the metrics as Atlanta's combination play and the clinical finishing by Ronaldo Cisneros proved to be the difference in yesterday's game.
Pineda and the front office have another dilemma to ponder as center back Miles Robinson went down with what seems to be an Achilles tendon injury. Robinson will have an MRI and if the result is a tear or rupture of the tendon, Robinson's MLS season as well as his World Cup aspirations would end. Alex de John stepped in for Robinson and played very well. Though de John is tough into the tackle and very good in the air, does Robinson's injury result in Atlanta's front office picking up a center back in the transfer market? Does Santiago Sosa, who has seen limited minutes due to the excellent midfield and pivot combination of Matheus Rossetto and Franco Ibarra, move into a center back position?
In the build up to yesterday's game, Pineda mentioned that his team was ready to "break out' from their goal-scoring woes, and the Five Stripes answered that call. The attack seemed to be coming together over the last few games, but unfortunately had been struggling to put the ball in the back of the net. Yesterday proved Pineda's assessment correct.
Atlanta travels to Nashville on Wednesday night for a U.S Open Cup match before playing New England next Sunday afternoon in a nationally televised conference game. The Robinson injury is a tough one to manage, especially after Brad Guzan's Achilles injury ended his season. Similar to all professional teams, the Five Stripes will employ the 'next man up' scenario with their front office having done an excellent job with building quality and depth into the player pool.
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo credit: El Futbolero U.S.