Atlanta United headlines

Will Barco start and where will he play for Atlanta United?

Will Barco start and where will he play for Atlanta United?

Jeff Larentowicz, who has seen a lot in his 363 regular-season appearances in MLS, knows exactly where teammate Ezequiel Barco will play this weekend: “In Los Angeles, for Atlanta United,” he said. Ha! But two questions dominating Atlanta United conversations this week ahead of Saturday’s game against the Galaxy are: Will Barco start? What position will he play? Barco, the most expensive...
Kratz happy with first Atlanta United start this season

Kratz happy with first Atlanta United start this season

Atlanta United was in the suburbs of what they call “Kratz Country,” that area on the soccer pitch that if there’s a free kick to be taken and Kevin Kratz is on the field, everyone knows he is going to take it. And it’s likely going to be on goal. The result of hours of practice. But the suburbs aren’t downtown, so three Atlanta United players stood over the ball...
Atlanta United’s game ‘atmosphere is the best in this league’

Atlanta United’s game ‘atmosphere is the best in this league’

Compliments were plenty and varied after Atlanta United and NYCFC fought to a 2-2 draw on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, and perhaps MLS, featured goals by a fullback (Greg Garza), centerback (Chris McCann), holding midfielder (Alex Ring) and striker (David Villa), as well as a goal from another holding midfielder (Darlington Nagbe) that...
About two of the goals scored in Atlanta United vs. NYCFC

About two of the goals scored in Atlanta United vs. NYCFC

Five goals were scored in Atlanta United’s game against NYCFC on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Four counted in the 2-2 draw. Two were unbelievable pieces of skill. Just one counted. As Atlanta United’s Chris McCann said after the game: VAR (Video Assistant Referees) gives and it takes, and he recognized the irony after it changed a red card he received last week against LAFC to a yellow...
Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2: Player ratings

Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2: Player ratings

My ratings for Atlanta United’s player from Sunday’s 2-2 draw with NYCFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 8: Important punch of a Jo Inge Berget shot over the crossbar in the first half, followed by another punch on the ensuing corner. ... Another save, this time left-handed and low, in the 22nd minute. ... Distribution was solid in the first half. ... Nothing anyone...
Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2: By the numbers

Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2: By the numbers

A by-the-numbers look at Atlanta United’s game against NYCFC on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: 1st Goal for Chris McCann, after he scored in the 56th minute to give Atlanta United a 2-1 lead. - 1 Goal disallowed after the use of VAR when Darlington Nagbe’s strike in the first half was taken off the board after referee Allen Chapman ruled that Josef Martinez committed an offside offense...
Barco not happy with Atlanta United result, but pleased with debut

Barco not happy with Atlanta United result, but pleased with debut

Ezequiel Barco, the most expensive transfer in MLS history, debuted in the 69th minute of Sunday’s game with Atlanta United leading 2-1. No matter the price tag and skill level of the player, it was a difficult game for anyone to come into, much less someone who hadn’t played a competitive game in six months. It was a back-and-forth game against NYCFC featuring lots of individual skill...
Atlanta United draws with NYCFC

Atlanta United draws with NYCFC

Atlanta United and NYCFC battled to a 2-2 draw on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a game filled with controversy, chippiness and dazzling plays fitting the top two teams in the MLS Eastern Conference. Goals from Atlanta United’s Greg Garza and Chris McCann were offset by goals from NYCFC’s David Villa and Alexander Ring. Atlanta United’s Darlington Nagbe had a goal taken away...
Atlanta United vs. NYCFC: Battle at The Benz

Atlanta United vs. NYCFC: Battle at The Benz

Atlanta United’s dominance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium should be put to the test in Sunday’s MLS game against unbeaten NYCFC. From its first game in the $1.5 billion stadium, Atlanta United has run most of its opponents out of the building and on to Andrew Young International Boulevard.  Powered by record-breaking crowds and taking advantage of every fiber of the expansive artificial-turf...
Atlanta United’s Martinez good to go for NYCFC

Atlanta United’s Martinez good to go for NYCFC

Joking that they would chop off the injured fingers if necessary, Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino said Josef Martinez should play in Sunday’s game against unbeaten NYCFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Martinez suffered an injury Wednesday when he jammed two fingers on his left hand into the shoulder of teammate Leandro Gonzalez Pirez during a finishing drill. Martinez stayed on the ground...
Leadoff: Talking World Cup and Super Bowl in downtown Atlanta this week

Leadoff: Talking World Cup and Super Bowl in downtown Atlanta this week

The timing was coincidental, but representatives of two of the world’s largest sports events -- the Super Bowl and the World Cup -- were in downtown Atlanta this week. NFL reps were in town Monday through Thursday for extensive planning sessions regarding the 2019 Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And a FIFA committee was here Wednesday for a one-day evaluation of the stadium...
Who will be in Atlanta United’s 11 vs. NYCFC

Who will be in Atlanta United’s 11 vs. NYCFC

Will Ezequiel Barco be in Atlanta United’s (4-1-0) starting 11 for Sunday’s game against NYCFC (5-0-1) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium? I think he will. Will manager Gerardo Martino continue to use the 3-5-2 formation the team has used during its four-game winning streak? I think he will. Will Hector Villalba play? I don’t think he will. So, here’s what I think you’ll see Goalkeeper...
Martinez looks good in Atlanta United training

Martinez looks good in Atlanta United training

Wearing either a black cast or brace on his left hand, Josef Martinez looked like his usual self during Atlanta United’s training session on Thursday. The Venezuelan made quick runs on offense, was tenacious on defense and not at all hesitant after leaving Wednesday’s training session with what looked like an air cast on his left arm from shoulder to wrist. “He’s a striker...
Martinez returns to Atlanta United training

Martinez returns to Atlanta United training

Josef Martinez returned to training with Atlanta United on Thursday.  The striker left Wednesday’s training session with his left arm wrapped in what appeared to be an air cast.  The Venezuelan has scored five goals this season and 24 in 25 games in his MLS career. Atlanta United (4-1-0) will host NYCFC (5-0-1) on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Additionally, Ezequiel Barco trained...
NYCFC vs. Atlanta United: Three questions

NYCFC vs. Atlanta United: Three questions

Atlanta United (4-1-0) will host NYCFC (5-0-1) at 6 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. What was expected to be a high-scoring affair may not materialize because of injuries.  For Atlanta United, striker Josef Martinez suffered an apparent injury on Wednesday. Forward/midfielder Hector Villalba also didn’t train. David Villa came off the bench to play in NYCFC’s win against...
Atlanta United’s Martinez can wear cast, if needed

Atlanta United’s Martinez can wear cast, if needed

Though Atlanta United hasn’t revealed if Josef Martinez sustained an injury to his left arm during Wednesday’s training session, it is possible that, if needed, he can wear a cast while playing. An MLS spokeswoman said that casts are allowed at the discretion of a referee, as long as it doesn’t present a danger to the player or other players. Heavy, large casts aren’t...
MLS Week 7: Ranking the games

MLS Week 7: Ranking the games

1. NYCFC (4-0-1*) at Atlanta United (4-1-0), 6 p.m. Sunday. NYCFC may be in shock after playing at Yankee Stadium’s towel-sized field on Wednesday and then coming to a real field on Sunday. 2. Toronto (1-2-0) at Colorado (1-1-2), 3 p.m. Saturday. For its success in CONCACAF Champions League this season, Toronto really hasn’t played well in MLS, which is understandable. This game...
World Cup committee will tour Atlanta on Wednesday

World Cup committee will tour Atlanta on Wednesday

Members of FIFA will be in Atlanta on Wednesday, touring the city as part of a fact-gathering trip for the 2026 World Cup. The United States, Mexico and Canada are trying to land the World Cup as a united bid. They are competing against a bid from Morocco. FIFA will announce the winner June 13 in Moscow, one day before this year’s World Cup kicks off in Russia. Five members of FIFA will tour...
MLS Power Poll: Week 6

MLS Power Poll: Week 6

It’s time for my weekly MLS Power Poll, the only MLS Power Poll that recognizes that arbitrarily ranking teams means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is done just to spark debate and not attach importance to the reporter’s ego.   WEEK 6 1. NYCFC (4-0-1) Last week: 1. Result: DNP. Next: vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. Wednesday and at Atlanta United, 6 p.m. Sunday.  How they...
Thoughts on Atlanta United’s rout of LAFC

Thoughts on Atlanta United’s rout of LAFC

The 5-0 score flattered Atlanta United, but Saturday’s victory over LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium provided plenty of examples of how Atlanta United is learning how to win in its second season in MLS. Despite playing with three new starters on defense, including Miles Robinson making his league debut, Atlanta United posted its second consecutive shutout with a little bit of help from referee...
Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: Player ratings

Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: Player ratings

My player ratings for Atlanta United following Saturday’s 5-0 win against LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 7: Despite LAFC having almost 60 percent of the possession, Guzan really didn’t have much to do. He finished with one save. Right wingback Julian Gressel, 8:  Scored his first goal this season with a tap in in the 17th minute. ... Assisted on Martinez&rsquo...
Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: Man of the match

Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: Man of the match

My choice for Atlanta United’s man of the match following Saturday’s 5-0 win against LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: JULIAN GRESSEL Why? Gressel, a wingback, scored his first goal this season to give Atlanta United a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. He added an assist on a beautiful cross to Josef Martinez in the 67th minute. It was Gressel’s first goal this season and sixth of his...
Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: By the numbers

Atlanta United 5, LAFC 0: By the numbers

A by-the-numbers look at Atlanta United’s 5-0 win against LAFC on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: 1 League appearance for centerback Miles Robinson after he debuted on Saturday for Atlanta United. - 1 Minute into the game that Chris McCann received a straight red card. It was changed to a yellow after referee Ted Unkel used VAR. - 1st Goal of his MLS career with Atlanta United for Romario...
Atlanta United crushes LAFC

Atlanta United crushes LAFC

With goals from Julian Gressel, Josef Martinez, two penalty kicks from Miguel Almiron and a long strike by Romario Williams, Atlanta United won its fourth consecutive game by dispatching LAFC 5-0 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Despite playing with a patchwork defense because of the absence of several starters to injuries or suspension, Atlanta United (4-1-0) notched its second consecutive shutout...
Atlanta United ready for LAFC

Atlanta United ready for LAFC

Atlanta United has yet to face a stretch of games as tough as the three upcoming, starting with Saturday’s game against expansion club LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Coached by former U.S. men’s national team manager Bob Bradley, LAFC seemed to be on the verge of taking the unofficial title of “most exciting team in MLS” away from Atlanta United before last week’s second-half...
Predicting Atlanta United 11’s vs. LAFC

Predicting Atlanta United 11’s vs. LAFC

Who will be in Atlanta United’s starting 11 for Saturday’s game against LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium? I’m going to provide two predicted lineups. One will feature the 3-5-2 formation the team has used during its three-game winning streak. The other will be a 4-3-3 formation the team used most of last year and in the season-opening loss at Houston. I think the team will continue...
Barco expected to train with Atlanta United next week

Barco expected to train with Atlanta United next week

Ezequiel Barco could return to training with Atlanta United next week, manager Gerardo Martino said Thursday. Martino then said he wishes he could have him for Saturday’s game against LAFC. Barco, the most expensive transfer in MLS history, suffered a quad strain during training for the season-opening game at Houston and has yet to make an appearance. But that’s next week. This week, Martino...
Atlanta United vs. LAFC: 4 things to know

Atlanta United vs. LAFC: 4 things to know

Atlanta United will host LAFC at 5 p.m. Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Five Stripes (3-1-0) are coming off a 1-0 win at Minnesota United. LAFC (2-1-0) is coming off a 4-3 loss to the L.A. Galaxy that was notable for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s two goals. Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) of the L.A. Times answered four questions about LAFC as part of the AJC’s coverage of the game:...
Winning on road boosts Atlanta United’s confidence

Winning on road boosts Atlanta United’s confidence

After Atlanta United was drubbed 4-0 by Houston in its first road game, defeating Minnesota United 1-0 in its second road game was important, according to a few of Atlanta United’s players. “Great confidence booster for us.,” fullback Greg Garza said Tuesday. “Teams in this league have the dilemma of going away and not getting a result. We had that last year with a few teams...
Which goal was better? Zlatan’s or Ronaldo’s?

Which goal was better? Zlatan’s or Ronaldo’s?

There is no wrong answer in the debate of whose goal was better, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s or Cristiano Ronaldo’s, but Atlanta United’s players were asked after training on Wednesday which strike they preferred. Ibrahimovic’s was a 45-yard missile against LAFC on Saturday. It was the 36-year-old’s first goal in MLS  for the L.A. Galaxy and tied the game at 3. The Galaxy...
MLS Week 6: Ranking the games

MLS Week 6: Ranking the games

LAFC (2-1-0) at Atlanta United (3-1-0), 5 p.m. Saturday: There may not be a more exciting group of attacking talent on the field at the same time this season as what you will see on Saturday with Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba and Darlington Nagbe against Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Latif Blessing and Marco Urena. Sporting KC (3-1-1) at L.A. Galaxy (2-1-1), 9 p.m. Sunday: ...
Atlanta United’s Homegrowns contributing to ATL UTD 2

Atlanta United’s Homegrowns contributing to ATL UTD 2

Three of Atlanta United’s Homegrown signings put in good shifts for Atlanta United 2 in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Charlotte. Striker Lagos Kunga scored a goal after completing a move that would make Fred Astaire envious, left fullback George Bello forced an own goal with a rampaging run up the left, and midfielder Chris Goslin helped organize the midfield for the USL team in the first road...
Atlanta United’s Robinson starting to impress

Atlanta United’s Robinson starting to impress

Atlanta United is going to have a Leandro Gonzalez Pirez-size hole in its back line Saturday that no doubt LAFC is going to try to drive through at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Gonzalez Pirez will miss the game between two of the league’s better attacking teams because he picked up two yellow cards -- the first was necessary, the second wasn’t -- in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Minnesota United...
Atlanta United missing key players at Tuesday training

Atlanta United missing key players at Tuesday training

Atlanta United began preparing for Saturday’s game against LAFC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium without Jeff Larentowicz, Franco Escobar and Ezequiel Barco in Tuesday’s training session. Larentowicz, a midfielder who has started each of the season’s first four games, sustained an ankle injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Minnesota United. Barco, the most expensive transfer in MLS history...
MLS Power Poll: Week 5

MLS Power Poll: Week 5

It’s time for my weekly MLS Power Poll, the only MLS Power Poll that recognizes that arbitrarily ranking teams means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is done just to spark debate and not attach importance to the reporter’s ego.   WEEK 5  1. NYCFC (4-0-1) Last week: 2. Result: 2-1 win vs. San Jose. No David Villa again but the boys in blue continue to win. Next: Off. ...
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: 3 observations

Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: 3 observations

The smiles on Atlanta United’s player’s faces may still be there this Easter morning either because of the joy from holding on to defeat Minnesota United 1-0 or the fact that their jaws are still frozen after competing in temperatures in the teens Saturday night. Helped by an own goal in the third minute, not only was it Atlanta United’s first shutout and road win of the season,...
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: Player ratings

Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: Player ratings

My player ratings for Atlanta United following Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Minnesota United at TCF Bank Stadium: Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 7: Called on to make just three saves, but there were several balls that he smartly let run past, showing his experience and savvy. ... Was saved by the post on a shot in the final minutes. ... First shutout of the season Right wingback Julian Gressel, 6...
Atlanta United injury updates on Garza, Larentowicz

Atlanta United injury updates on Garza, Larentowicz

Though Atlanta United players Jeff Larentowicz and Greg Garza were forced to leave Atlanta United’s 1-0 win against Minnesota United on Saturday, manager Gerardo Martino said he doesn’t think either injury will cause the players to miss any games. Larentowicz, a defensive midfielder, was subbed off in the 74th minute with an ankle injury. Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu came on for him. Garza, a...
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: Men of the match

Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: Men of the match

My choice for Men of the Match for following Atlanta United’s 1-0 win against Minnesota United on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium: THE FANS Why? More than 18,000 tickets were sold or distributed for the game. It was 21 degrees in Minneapolis at the start of Atlanta United's game at Minnesota United on Saturday, according to weather.com. The wind ripped through the stadium, but throughout the game...
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: By the numbers

Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 0: By the numbers

A by-the-numbers look at Atlanta United’s 1-0 win against Minnesota United on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium: 1st Shutout this season for Atlanta United’s defense. - 1st Road win for Atlanta United this season. - 1st Appearance in his MLS career for Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, who came on for Jeff Larentowicz in the 74th minute. - 2 Yellow cards given to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in the first half...
Atlanta United holds on to top Minnesota United

Atlanta United holds on to top Minnesota United

There was no snow this time, but Atlanta United once again left frigid Minnesota with three points after holding on with frozen fingertips to defeat the Loons 1-0 on Saturday. Last year’s meeting started with a league-record low 19-degree temperature and ended with inches of snow on the ground and an 6-1 win Atlanta United victory, the first for the franchise. It was cold – 21 degrees...
Predicting Atlanta United’s 11 vs. Minnesota United

Predicting Atlanta United’s 11 vs. Minnesota United

Who will be in Atlanta United’s starting 11 for Saturday’s game at Minnesota United? This one should be easier than previous weeks, I think. There should be just one starter missing: Franco Escobar, who is out after suffering a concussion in the 4-1 win against Vancouver two weeks ago. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I think manager Gerardo Martino will make a straight swap by moving...
Competitive fire fuels Atlanta United’s Martinez

Competitive fire fuels Atlanta United’s Martinez

A shivering Josef Martinez walked into the locker room wearing just his Atlanta United kit. For the next 10 minutes, he tried to warm up after he was left standing in the snow and cold at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. After scoring three goals – his first hat trick in MLS – Martinez was named the man of the match. Television wanted to interview him after the 6-1 Atlanta United victory...
What else did Atlanta United’s Martino say today?

What else did Atlanta United’s Martino say today?

A few things said by Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino and the team’s players this week that didn’t make it into stories: GERARDO MARTINO On the uniqueness of last year’s game at Minnesota: “I don’t know if we can take anything away from either of the games against Minnesota. The one there because of the conditions and because we are a new team. The one here because...
Atlanta United will be missing several players on Saturday

Atlanta United will be missing several players on Saturday

Atlanta United will be without several players when it faces Minnesota United on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Manager Gerardo Martino on Thursday said that midfielders Ezequiel Barco and Andrew Carleton, and defender Franco Escobar won’t be available because they are recovering from injuries or illness. Barco, 18, sustained a quadriceps injury while training for the season-opening game four...
Atlanta United vs. Minnesota United: 5 questions

Atlanta United vs. Minnesota United: 5 questions

Atlanta United will play Minnesota United at 8 p.m. Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. It’s going to be cold. The game will be broadcast on MLS Live and can be heard on 92.9FM. The Five Stripes have won two consecutive games while Minnesota United’s two-game winning streak was snapped in a 3-0  loss to New York Red Bulls. Meg Ryan, who covers the Loons for the Star Tribune, answered five...
Atlanta United excited about Juventus

Atlanta United excited about Juventus

The Italian club’s history, the players, the Netflix documentary ... those are a few of the reasons that some of Atlanta United’s players are excited that Juventus will play the MLS All-Stars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 1. “It’s a testament to what this club and this city have brought to the footballing world: to have a team like that want to come here and play on our...
MLS Week 5: Ranking the games

MLS Week 5: Ranking the games

Ranking this week’s MLS games from best to worst. 1. L.A.F.C. (2-0-0) at L.A. Galaxy (1-1-1), 3 p.m. Saturday: Man, do I wish Rage Against the Machine would re-form to play in the parking lot of Stubhub Center before this game. The Battle of Los Angeles is joined. 2. Vancouver (2-1-1) at Columbus (3-0-1), 3 p.m. Saturday: A litmus test of a game. If Columbus wins, I think it is a true...
It’s going to be really cold for Atlanta United-Minnesota United

It’s going to be really cold for Atlanta United-Minnesota United

The high temperature in Minneapolis, where Atlanta United will play Minnesota United on Saturday, is projected to be 31 degrees. Yes, there’s a little snowflake symbol next to that 31 on weather.com. By the time the game starts at 8 p.m., that temperature should be lower, which means Atlanta United and Minnesota United could again break the temperature record of 19 degrees set at the start...
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