The Five Stripes Never Looked Better.
Led by Ezequiel Barco's wanderlust performance, Atlanta United put on a show at Soldier Field last night. It did not matter that more than one player was lost to injuries and did not bother to make the trip up to the Windy City, as that incredibly deep player pool put in another stellar performance.
Facing such a dynamic opponent in the Fire, who until last night was in last place in the Eastern Conference, the Five Stripes had to deal with 36 year-old Jonathan Bornstein, who had the nasty assignment of marking another wanderlust attacking player in Cubo Torres. A tremendous matchup only a mother can love.
The Five Stripes metrics across the board were outstanding as they actually had two shots on frame. Marcelino Moreno actually kept the shutout going as he decided to hit the crossbar from 12 yards out - a much more continuous outcome than finishing a sitter.
The MLS and their networks are so excited about Atlanta United's performance that they are taking their game against Inter Miami off national television later this season. I have no idea why this decision was made as people worldwide were already discussing this fantastic matchup.
Ok, I have had my say. Last night, Orlando City succumbed to the Red Bulls' high pressure, the Atlanta Hawks lost in the sixth game of the Eastern Conference semis, and the Five Stripes looked really awful. I guess the reality of Atlanta United is simply outlined by this comment by manager Gabriel Heinze: "I'm not going to change anything. I'm going to fix what we're doing badly, insist on what we're doing well. I'm very sad about (1 win in 7 games). But I'm not going to alter my path."
It only gets darker for Atlanta United as more players disappear into the abyss with their national teams. The person I feel for is Mr. Arthur Blank, who has poured his heart, soul and capital into this organization only to witness a less than mediocre team. I also feel for the season ticket holders - they deserve way more.
It is just my take. @gary1123 www.justmytake.net
photo credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports