My last few posts about Atlanta's performances have been very positive. A win and a draw and Andrew Gutman's return seemed to have created a positive path to what has been two and a half seasons of variable misery. Other than Atlanta's first ten minutes last night, and Josef Martinez's last second record-breaking goal, the systemic lack of final-third quality, middle-third giveaways, and ball-watching is getting to be unwatchable. There is another factor that really bothers me about Gonzalo Pineda's side. They have little fight. Call it what you want, but after playing this sport for too many years, I can easily recognize that some of their players, obviously not Andrew Gutman, lack the desire and prowess needed in this league. I am not speaking to match fitness, but more the grit, determination, and their ability to impose their will.
I could care less about overused analytics, but Atlanta's lack of aggression, fouls, and ball-winning is a telling tale of a team "Lost in Translation." I am going to reserve further comments until Monday, when Atlanta will have played away on Sunday to Columbus. I am no tactical genius, but if Gonzalo Pineda leaves Santiago Sosa on an island again as the solo anchor/midfielder against Darlington Nagbe and company.....I have no further words. Note: Columbus is well-rested and did not play a midweek game going into Sunday's match against the Five Stripes.
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo credit: Major League Soccer