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Atlanta United closes out its 2022 campaign on Sunday with a home match against reigning league champions, New York City FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET. 

Atlanta United is coming off a 2-1 loss to New England Revolution, a result that eliminated the club from playoff contention. Now, after a disappointing result, Atlanta United is looking forward. The club hopes to finish out the season strong with a Sunday meeting in front of their home fans against a good, quality opponent. 

“Of course, we’re disappointed by last week’s result and we wanted to be in playoff contention,” midfielder Amar Sejdić said on Thursday. “But nonetheless, coming out into this last week, I think it’s an opportunity for all the guys to finish out the season on a strong note, a positive note and go into the offseason in a good mood and look forward to next year. So it’s a good way to close it off.”

Amar-Sejdic-Training-NYCFC

Deadlocked Series 

Atlanta United and New York City FC have met 12 times in MLS play and the all-time series is split evenly with both clubs getting four wins apiece plus four draws. In the latest meeting earlier this season, Atlanta United traveled to Yankee Stadium on the tail end of a three-match away trip. The visitors earned a hard-fought road result, tying NYCFC 2-2 behind a late equalizer from striker Dom Dwyer

Although the series is even, Atlanta United has taken care of business against New York City FC at home. In five meetings at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta United remains unbeaten against New York City. It’s the most road games NYCFC has had against any opponent without at least one win, a proud streak the 5-Stripes will be looking to continue come Sunday. 

"For me, [this match] is important,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said. “It’s important because it’s in front of our fans and we want to give them a good show. It’s against a championship team and a team that knocked us out of the playoffs last year. So, it has some relevance to me. And I think the players it’s also important that we'll try to bring a good, competitive team for that game.”

Dom-Dwyer-ATLatNYCFC-2022

New York City FC, Defending MLS Cup Champions 

While Atlanta United will be entering Sunday’s match knowing it’s the last time the team will play together in 2022, New York City FC will be playing knowing their season will be extending. The club has clinched its seventh straight playoff berth, the second-longest streak in MLS after only the New York Red Bulls. Their 52 points and standing in the Eastern Conference table has confirmed that they will host the first round of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Not only is New York City FC heading back to the playoffs – they're also on a hot streak. After going through a stretch of winning once in 10 matches, New York City has gone on to win consecutive matches against Atlas in the Campeones Cup, plus New York Red Bulls and Orlando City in MLS play. In those three matches, New York City FC only conceded one goal. 

“They’re a team that plays good football,” Sejdić said. “They’re a team with a lot of talent, a lot of young talent, a bunch of veterans as well. So I think it’s important for us to play the football that we know, the tactics that the coaching staff gives us and finish the year strong.” 

Atlanta United Seeks To End On A Good Note 

Last weekend’s result in New England meant Atlanta United was eliminated from playoff contention. It’s just the second time in the club’s short history that they have failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. In its first three seasons of existence from 2017-2019, Atlanta United made the playoffs. The club won the MLS Cup in 2018. 

Manager Nick Cushing’s team is unbeaten in its last five matches against Atlanta United. The teams met in the first round of playoffs at Yankee Stadium, and the home side won 2-0 to knock out Atlanta United. While there’s not much riding on Sunday’s game for Atlanta United, playing the team that ended their season a year ago, and the will to finish a season on a high note, might be enough motivation for the home team to put on a good show. 

“Without the fans of this club, I don’t think you have a club to begin with, so their energy, their support, their passion honestly does fuel us,” Sejdić said. “That’s what brings a different energy and fire out of us at home and when they’re rooting for us in that 89th minute and we’re able to score goals in the last couple of minutes, it comes from them. It’s that adrenaline, it’s that energy, it’s that passion.”

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Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
Atlanta United
New York City FC
Pass Percentage
84.7% (2nd)
83.6% (6th)
Key Passes
378 (1st)
318 (2nd)
Goal Differential
-5 (t-17th)
+15 (4th)

Players To Watch

Thiago Almada – Almada has been one of the bright young stars for Atlanta United this season, and it showed up in the End-of Year Award nominations announced last week. Almada earned three nominations, the most out of any Atlanta player, including 2022 Landon Donoval MLS Most Valuable Player. In his first season in MLS, the 21-year-old from Argentina leads the club in assists (11) and is tied for third in goals this season (six).

Santiago Rodriguez – The midfielder on loan from xx has had a strong first full season with New York City FC. Rodriguez started 11 games New York City in their title run last season and has gone on to become a steady contributor for the defending champs. In 2022, the 22-year-old leads the team in assists (13) and has scored four goals. He had one of each in New York City’s most recent win at Yankee Stadium, a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls.

Other Tidbits

  • Meet King! Prior to kickoff, Atlanta United's service dog will be holding a meet-and-greet, presented by Zep. Join us at the Front Porch just inside Gate 2 in front of the Falcon statue.
  • Sunday marks our annual match to celebrate Atlanta Pride.
  • The match marks the final Bally Sports broadcast before Apple TV becomes the exclusive destination to watch Atlanta United and MLS matches in 2023.
  • Atlanta United will be wearing the BLVCK Kit.
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