My top of mind takeaways from yesterday's opening game:
Before I get into my thoughts on the game, I just want to say that attending a live sporting event, even with 50% capacity, was the real win. It felt good to be outside at Orlando's excellent stadium, with a loud and vociferous crowd.
My pregame thoughts regarding Atlanta's issues with goal scoring unfortunately came to fruition. With Josef Martinez still working his way back to match fitness, the systemic failures in the attacking third continue from last year. Lisandro Lopez, the 38-year old veteran, worked very hard but has little ability to get behind defenders.
I sat 20 rows up behind Atlanta's bench. Manager Gabriel Heinze wears his emotions on his sleeve and it was quite obvious that he was very frustrated with his team's attack. I don't blame him as way too many times Orlando's numerical advantage squashed what looked like good counters or build ups from Atlanta.
Atlanta's midfielders and defenders: a tremendous effort and amazing resiliency with taking Chris Mueller and Alexandre Pato out of the game. I will give an A+ to Atlanta's back four. With that said, I was very impressed with Pato. Great on and off the ball with the ability to get himself in dangerous attacking positions in front of goal.
Santiago Sosa - if you have not seen him play, either in yesterday's game or Atlanta's two previous CCL matches, take the time to do so. In a word: excellent.
The good news for Atlanta United: they get a week of rest before taking on Chicago in the home opener at Mercedes Benz Stadium next Saturday night. Chicago and New England played to a 2-2 draw yesterday.
The bad news for Atlanta United: where will the goals come from?
It is just my take. justmytake.net