Atlanta United are experiencing a magical run so far in their Mercedes-Benz Stadium journey and are hoping that continues on Wednesday against Western Conference opponents L.A. Galaxy. Atlanta (12-8-7) enter the match only having lost one game in their last 11 while L.A. (7-15-6) are looking to turn their season around in the first-ever match between the two clubs.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s matchup, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot:
1) Extra Energy
Atlanta United are red-hot to say the least when playing in front of their home crowd. They’re currently riding a nine-match unbeaten streak at home, outscoring their opponents 29-9 over the course of that run. With an average attendance of over 45,000 raving Atlanta faithful, there’s certainly an extra boost when playing inside your own walls. Last week the team opened up their new home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium with two wins and a draw, including a 3-3 battle with Orlando where Atlanta clawed their way back three different times to keep their unbeaten streak alive. After the comeback, the players admitted that it’s the passion of the fans that keeps them going, energizes them and pushes them on, especially in times of adversity.
2) Aware of Alessandrini
L.A. has endured a tough season thus far on both the offensive and defensive ends but they can never be counted out going forward. That’s especially true with their most productive player of the season Romain Alessandrini hanging around the 18-yard-box. The crafty midfielder is extremely dangerous on the dribble, and coupled with his sense of movement off the ball and pure physicality, Alessandrini poses the ultimate threat for any opposing back line. Leading his team in goals and assists and consistently putting in man of the match performances, the French winger has proven why he’s one of the highest-paid players in the league.
3) Send #7
Forward Josef Martinez has missed a chunk of matches with injury this season but still leads Atlanta United with 16 goals on the year, averaging a goal every 65 minutes – the best rate in the league (min. three goals) and only three behind the Golden Boot leader David Villa. The 24-year-old is coming off an MLS Player of the Week award after tallying back-to-back hat-tricks last week against New England and Orlando. The Venezuelan international is no doubt the hottest striker in the league at the moment, and whether it’s to his feet or picking him out in the air, Atlanta will be looking to feed him as much as possible against an L.A. side that’s never faced the dynamic number seven.
How to Follow
Tickets to the match are still available and can be purchased here. If you can’t attend, you can catch all the action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. EST, with the match nationally broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes or via WATCH ESPN. Click here for all details on how to follow the match.