On Sunday, Atlanta United travel to Yankee Stadium to face Eastern Conference opponents New York City FC. Atlanta (3-3-2) have been a handful for opponents on the road with a 2-1-2 record, meanwhile NYCFC (4-3-1) are looking for their second-straight victory. You can catch the matchup on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET on Univision or Univision Deportes Facebook LIVE.
Ahead of the conference clash in the big apple, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) Fight Fire with Fire
The talk around the league this weekend has centered around the first-ever matchup between Tata Martino’s Atlanta United and Patrick Vieira’s New York City FC. Both managers pride themselves on assembling and orchestrating teams that can play out of the back, possess with purpose, and attack with pace. Martino and Vieira are also known for sticking to their styles regardless of the opponent, so it’s certain we can expect an open, free-flowing match full of attractive soccer. There is no doubt all MLS fans will be eager to witness this matchup.
2) Capitalize on Chances
Though the expansion side eventually fell 3-1 at home last week against D.C., it was not due to a lack of chances, but rather final execution. Atlanta recorded a total of 26 shots but could only convert one in the end after missed opportunities and some Bill Hamid heroics. However, the Atlanta’s conference-leading 18 goals have proven that they are lethal in front of the net. If ATL UTD can capitalize on their chances against New York City this weekend, we could see them add a bundle of goals to their season tally, and Atlanta United can prove that last week was on off-game on the finishing front.
3) Defensive Discipline
Sunday’s match in NYC will likely be the most open match Atlanta have competed in so far this season. Tata Martino’s side will enjoy the fluidity of the matchup, but the expansion club will need to be mindful of getting caught too far forward. With the likes of Jack Harrison, David Villa, and Maximiliano Moralez, NYCFC have a dangerous amount of speed and skill that will take advantage of any situations where they are numbers up. Defensive discipline from the outside backs and the midfield will be crucial if Atlanta United are to record their third clean sheet of the season.