Atlanta United Football Club head into Wednesday’s match against the New England Revolution on the back of a 3-0 win against FC Dallas Sunday afternoon. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Josef Martinez and Greg Garza scored the goals in front of 45,314 and a worldwide television audience.
This match is the second of six home games in a row for the 5 Stripes as they make up their games in hand. Atlanta United currently sits 6th in the MLS Eastern Conference, right on the playoff line with 39 points, two points behind New York Red Bulls (41 points, 5th place in the MLS Eastern Conference) and three points ahead of Montreal Impact are in (36 points, 7th place in the MLS Eastern Conference) with two games in hand.
With the delays tied to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and rescheduling of matches, Atlanta has played up to four games less than their competitors. This provides the 5 Stripes an unique opportunity to climb the Eastern Conference table, while establishing “The Benz” as a cauldron for home matches, similarly to their efforts at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech.
“The stadium is so impressive that it’s tough not to talk about what the stadium represents,” Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino said. “But I have to talk about how the team played. With everything that we have coming and the eight games in 23 days, I think the most important is the performance. Against an opponent that generally we were better than, but in some situations, they put us through tough moments.”
The Revolution travel to Atlanta following a 1-0 home win over Montreal Impact September 9. Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen hammered in the only goal of the match in the 68th minute with Teal Bunbury picking up his first assist of the year. New England sits 8th in the Eastern Conference table with 35 points, 4 points off the playoff places.
If Jeff Larentowicz and Gonzalez Pirez get yellow cards at any point during tomorrow’s match, they will be suspended against Orlando due to card accumulation.
Speaking of Orlando, Atlanta United brass will open up the upper deck for Saturday’s match. The club and fans alike seek to pack 70,000 fans into Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the rivalry match.
“In my opinion, they’re the best fans in this league,” said Atlanta United defender Greg Garza. “They put on a show for us once more and thank goodness we were able to put on a show for them on the field as well. We’ve got to take advantage of these next five games we have at home. I know it’s a tight schedule but I’m glad we got the win today to build the momentum for the next game.”
Atlanta is 7-2-1 at home, securing 22 out of a possible 30 points from their home matches. However, they’re 4-6-5 away from Atlanta.
“In the MLS, road games are always tricky you find a way to sometimes grind them out, said Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan. “Whether it’s the travel or being on the road in an uncomfortable environment, I am not exactly sure but we know when we play at home we are a dangerous team and we can beat anyone in this league. So it was important that this run of home game set the tempo for hopefully what the next games will be like.”