Atlanta United - Four Games In.
Lucky to come away with a point, the Five Stripes get six days of well-needed rest.
Four CCL games and four league games on a tight schedule are always difficult. Add in the key injuries to Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, and Jurgen Damm and you get a very tired team with a thin bench at best. The frustration level with Atlanta's fan base (the 17's) is expected but not warranted. Do I want to see more quality out of the team? Yes, I do. With that said, the Five Stripes sit in 7th place and 30 games remain to be played.
It is obvious that the team needs rest after these eight games. They have defended well to date, but to anyone watching yesterday's game, Atlanta faded quickly after the 60th minute. Manager Gabriel Heinze made three subs, but the fatigue factor led to some glaring mistakes. Many questioned Heinze's substitutions - which again reinforces my concerns with the overall player pool.
Josef Martinez's goal in the 9th minute was fantastic for the team, the league and especially Josef, who after scoring his first goal after major knee surgery, sprinted to hug Atlanta's trainer, Mario Cruz. A huge positive for the Five Stripes who need Josef strong and healthy. With yesterday's 1-1 draw, Atlanta has now scored five goals in their four league games but is only two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Five Stripes need to get everyone healthy, enjoy this six days of rest, and come out with a strong performance this Saturday against Montreal. The team needs Barco and Damm back, and Adams being available will help to give Santiago Sosa a rest at certain times. The MLS primary transfer window ends on June1 and opens up again between July 7 and August 5. Do the Five Stripes get active in these available transfer windows? It may be a bit early to know the answer.
It is just my take. @gary1123