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Atlanta United hosts New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET and the match will be televised nationally. 

Alanta United is coming off a 3-2 loss in extra time to Nashville SC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The team performed well in the first half and goals from Luiz Araújo and Thiago Almada gave the 5-Stripes a two-goal lead at halftime. However, Nashville turned up the pressure in the second 45, converted a penalty kick and got a stoppage-time goal to force extra time. The result knocked Atlanta out of the competition, thus ending the team’s quest to defend its 2019 title.  

On top of playing an extra 30 minutes, the conditions in Nashville on Wednesday were hot and muggy. Head coach Gonzalo Pineda used every substitute except one, emptying the bench to provide fresh legs in the second half and extra time. On top of that, defender Andrew Gutman had to exit with an apparent injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s match. 

The quick turnaround between Open Cup and MLS play this week may be demanding, but Atlanta United goes into Sunday with home field advantage. And Atlanta United plays very well at home. The team is currently unbeaten at home in its previous 12 matches, which is the longest regular season home unbeaten streak in Atlanta’s history. 

The last time Atlanta played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a week ago on May 7. The 5-Stripes scored four goals, three from striker Ronaldo Cisneros, on their way to defeating Chicago Fire FC 4-1. He’s the third player to score a hat trick in club history, and the performance earned Cisneros several league honors including Player of the Week and a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.

Ronaldo-Cisneros-HatTrick

Here Come The Revolution 

New England Revolution is an MLS club based in Foxborough, Mass. New England is one of the league’s 10 charter clubs and plays in the Eastern Conference. The club has one U.S. Open Cup trophy (2007) and has reached the MLS Cup Finals five times.  

Most recently, New England won the 2021 Supporters’ Shield, the first in club history. Last year, New England also set a new MLS record for points in the regular season with 73. Winning the award qualified the Revs for the Concacaf Champions League this year. New England ended up losing to Pumas from Liga MX in penalty kicks after drawing even on aggregate.  

The club shares affiliation with its NFL counterpart, the New England Patriots. The club is owned by Robert Kraft, CEO and the chairman of the Patriots. There are also overlaps in the branding of the two franchises. The two share primary colors that are navy blue, red and white and both team names harken back to the American Revolution and Boston Tea Party. 

New England Revolution is managed by Bruce Arena, a highly regarded and successful coach in American soccer. Arena is the winningest active coach in MLS history and holds the record for most MLS Cup titles (five). He also previously managed the U.S. men’s national team during two stints from 1998-2006 and 2016-17. During that time, he led the U.S. to two appearances in the FIFA World Cup and three Gold Cup titles. 

Series History 

This will be the ninth all-time meeting between the two sides. Atlanta United owns the series 5-2-2. 

Last season, the clubs met twice and New England won both meetings on their way to their historic season. The most recent matchup between the two sides was last summer. On July 17, 2021, the Revolution got a clean sheet against the 5-Stripes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

ATLvsNER-2021

Slow Start For The Revs 

While 2021 was a historical season for the Revolution, this season has started a little slower out of the gate. They dropped four in a row to Real Salt Lake, Charlotte FC, New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami, but ironed things out and picked up seven points in four matches since. New England has not won consecutive matches since a three-match winning streak in September and have already matched their loss total from 2021 (5). 

New England currently sits toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference table with 11 points, less than half of what they earned this time last season (23). However, New England is just three points behind Atlanta in the standings. Both teams are coming off midweek games in the U.S. Open Cup. Unlike Atlanta, New England won its midweek match and their path will continue to the Round of 16.  

‘Next Man Up’ In Atlanta 

Atlanta United is looking to make the best out of a difficult situation that put the team without several of its key starters due to injury. Veterans Ozzie Alonso and Brad Guzan were moved to the season-ending injury list. Just last week, the club announced that reliable center back Miles Robinson suffered a ruptured Achiles tendon in his left leg. The team is also waiting to get Josef Martínez back after the striker had arthroscopic surgery to clean out some debris in his knee. 

The team has adopted a ‘next man up’ mentality, so the absence of these leaders makes room for other players to step up. On Wednesday against Nashville SC, midfielder Matheus Rossetto sported the captain’s armband for the club for the first time. Players like Luiz Araújo and Alan Franco were also vocal on the pitch and may look to step into leadership roles for their position groups.

Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
Atlanta United
New England Revolution
Passing Percentage
85.2% (1st)
82.7% (8th)
Corners Taken
66 (2nd)
59 (6th)
Goals For
15
16
Assists
9
20

Players To Watch

Ronaldo Cisneros – Of course eyes will be on Cisneros – and rightly so. Last week, the striker was voted MLS Player of the Week, becoming only the third Atlanta United player ever to receive the reward. (Not bad for someone who’s only made five appearances in MLS.) But Cisneros’s performance last week against Chicago Fire FC was worthy. He scored a hat trick, becoming the third player in club history to do so. And what’s even more impressive? All three goals arrived in the first half. The 5-Stripes we’ll be looking to feed Cisneros again on Sunday.

Luiz Araújo, Marcelino Moreno, Thiago Almada – Listing four Atlanta United players in this category might be slightly off balance, but these three in particular seem to be finding their form. Just look at both goals for Atlanta United in U.S. Open Cup competition that helped the 5-Stripes have a two-goal lead at halftime. Almada scored the first and helped create the other with a high-pressing situation. Moreno assisted Araújo for the second goal – and nearly got a secondary assist on Almada’s. When these three are connecting, Atlanta United is at its best.

Moreno-Araujo-Nash

Adam Buksa – In his third season in MLS, the Polish international certainly knows how to produce. In eight matches for the Revolution this season, Buksa has four goals, averaging 0.5 goals per match, and two assists. This past week, he scored a brace in U.S. Open Cup competition to lead the Revolution to a 5-1 rout over FC Cincinnati. Atlanta United’s backline will need to watch out for the striker on aerial crosses – he's scored in four straight games, all headers.

Carles Gil – The attacking midfielder was a big part in New England’s run last season to the Supporters’ Shield. In 2021, he led MLS with 18 assists and broke a league record in chances created (130). He also earned MLS Most Valuable Player and Comeback Player of the Year. In 2022, he currently leads the Revs in assists (5) and is the second-leading goal scorer (3). Gil scored a hat trick against Cincinnati to go along with Buksa’s brace and round out New England’s five goals.

Other Tidbits

  • Atlanta United will be wearing the BLVCK kit on Sunday.

It’s a 1:30 p.m. ET kickoff for Atlanta United and New England Revolution on Sunday. Click here to learn all the ways to watch, listen and live stream the match.