Building on Victory and Eyeing Home Triumph
The Five Stripes aim to build on a 3-1 win over DC United, setting sights on their seventh home victory of the season. Tyler Wolff is eager to secure his first start of the season following his impressive goal as a substitute against the capital club. Unfortunately, Santiago Sosa and Erik Lopez are still in the recovery room, which further boosts Wolff’s chances of getting the opportunity he seeks.
Currently ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Five Stripes carry forward the momentum from their previous home victory, On the other hand, the Boys in Blue drew 1-1 against the Columbus Crew last weekend, extending their winless streak to 10 matches across all competitions.
Since the defeat, they have gained seven out of a possible nine points at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This boost in performance can be attributed to the tactical shift made against DC, where Derrick Etienne moved to the right wing and Caleb Wiley took over the left.
In their last three home fixtures, this team has impressively scored three or more goals in each match. As of now, they hold the position of the second-highest-scoring team in MLS, having netted 35 goals, just one less than the Columbus Crew. Notably, out of their 22 goals scored at home in the 2023 regular season, 16 of them have come in the second half. Their dominance at home is evident as they have suffered only one domestic defeat in Atlanta this year, making them a formidable force to reckon with.
So far this season, the Five Stripes have lost eight points when leading in the second half, but have managed to gain five when trailing in the final 45 minutes.
It has been over three years since they last defeated New York City in a home game, claiming a 2-1 triumph against them in 2019.
Struggles of Boy’s in Blue
The Blue Pigeons managed to salvage a point thanks to Gabriel Segal’s late goal over the weekend. However, New York City is currently experiencing a ten-game winless streak across all competitions, making Atlanta United the favorable bet. In terms of their opponents, Thiago Martins, the Brazil international, continues to be sidelined due to an ankle injury.
The Boys in Blue have been facing a string of disappointing results lately, and if they fail to secure a win on Wednesday, they will match their longest winless run in a single MLS campaign. With a nine-match winless streak in domestic affairs, the club’s morale seems to be quite low, emphasizing the challenging situation they find themselves in.
Throughout the campaign, Nick Cushing’s side often found themselves conceding the opening goal, a scenario repeated 10 times. However, they have demonstrated resilience by coming back to earn a point in four of these instances, including last weekend’s home match against the Crew.
When Taty Castellanos was loaned out to Girona in 2022, the club faced challenges replacing his skills. This indecision in the attacking third resulted in the Pigeons being one of five Eastern Conference teams to score fewer than 20 goals this season (18).
NYCFC has struggled to score multiple goals in their domestic matches this year, managing to do so in only four games, none of which occurred when playing away from home. However, they did achieve their first clean sheet of the 2023 season in their most recent away match against Real Salt Lake, resulting in a goalless draw.
Their difficulties continue when it comes to securing victories on the road in domestic contests, as they have now gone nine consecutive matches without a win. This ongoing winless streak represents their longest stretch without an away victory in a single regular season campaign.
In terms of their victories this year, three out of their four wins have come against Eastern Conference clubs. However, since Cushing took charge, they have only managed to win two regular season away matches against teams from their own conference. This statistic highlights the team’s struggles in achieving positive results on the road under their current leadership.
Possible Starting Line Up
Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Lennon, Purata, Cobb, Gutman; Ibarra; Sosa, Alonso, Rossetto, Wiley; Berry
New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Barraza; Haak, Alfaro, Turnbull; Ilenic, Morales, Parks, Cufre; Rodriguez; Magno, Segal
Atlanta 2-1 New York
While Atlanta’s defensive performance may have some vulnerabilities, their offensive prowess remains formidable. In the 2023 season, a remarkable 11 players have contributed with at least one MLS goal. As they prepare to face a fragile NYCFC team this week, we see Atlanta taking full advantage of the opportunities that come their way and displaying their attacking dominance.
Despite the low morale in New York City and the presence of talented playmakers on the team, a standout player who can seize clear scoring opportunities has yet to emerge.
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