Javier Zanetti, a.k.a. Kamal Miller, Ruins Atlanta's Day.
Another Mistake With Defending Restarts Helps Montreal to a 2-1 Win Over Atlanta.
He plays for Canada's World Cup-bound National Team and holds down a fullback spot for C.F. Montreal. Kamal Miller did not exactly set Exploria Stadium on fire when he played for Orlando City, but this afternoon's performance with C.F. Montreal against Atlanta was an eye-opener. Here are a few short takes on today's game at Saputo Stadium.
As mentioned above, Kamal Miller scored off a header in the fourth minute, and then turned Atlanta's Jake Mulraney inside out before delivering a perfect cross to Joaquin Torres in the 82nd minute. Miller's goal and assist sealed the three points for Montreal. His goal from a Djordje Mihailovic free kick again exposed Atlanta's vulnerable defending of restarts - a systemic issue with the Five Stripes which spans three seasons.
There needs to be a formula in calculus that generates a metric from a combination of shots on goal, possession, and passing efficiency. I'm not sure an MIT professor could figure out the dilemma Atlanta faces. For example, today's match yielded Atlanta five shots on goal, 62% possession, and a passing efficiency of 86%. Yet the Five Stripes only registered a 0.69 with the expected goals metric, which for Atlanta seems to have an inverse correlation. Atlanta looked so dangerous at times but again could only find one goal in the 51st minute.
I do not know what to think about Marcelino Moreno. His second half goal was a work of art and a great finish, but does he take to the dribble too often, and a bit too long? As mentioned in previous posts, he is a dilemma, delivering an endless work rate, tactical awareness, and game management - though losing the ball on the dribble in the middle third is not acceptable at any level. Do not get me wrong, I really like M², and I do not want him to stop taking on defenders. I just hope that the giveaways in the middle third come to a fast stop.
Atlanta, as of this evening, still remains above the playoff line, in fifth place on eleven points. Most alarming is that this high-powered attack has only scored eleven goals after 9 games. They firepower of Thiago Almada, Luis Araujo, Ronaldo Cisneros, and Moreno did look sharp at times today, but the answer to most issues with the long, sweltering summer coming fast, is to put the ball in the back of the net.
Atlanta is home to Chicago next Saturday night. It is time for the Five Stripes to score some goals and get their fanbase, known as the '17's', back on their feet during most of the match. Hopefully, today's fast-paced attack will yield some goals against Ezra Hendrickson's side.
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo credit: Getty Images