Match-Preview_1280x720

Atlanta United travels to the northeast to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

Atlanta United returns to action after two weeks off during the September international break. Prior to the break, the team had put on some positive performances, stringing together back-to-back clean sheets and three consecutive results against Toronto FC, Orlando City SC and Philadelphia Union. 

The club currently has 40 points in the Eastern Conference standings. With just two matches remaining in the MLS regular season, Atlanta is now chasing Inter Miami and Columbus Crew, both with 42 points. Although Atlanta United is on the outside looking in at the moment, the team is focusing on themselves and not letting the pressure to make a playoff push affect their matchday mentality.  

“I think the pressure’s always there,” midfielder Matheus Rossetto said during media availability on Thursday. “We know that we have a strong team and we want to be a team that’s in the playoffs. So, we have to take it one game at a time. We want to win this game on Saturday, and of course win the next game, but that pressure is always there.” 

Mattheus-Rossetto-Training-NER

Matchday Conditions

Everyone is keeping an eye on the weather with Hurricane Ian making landfall on the East Coast. It looks like Atlanta will be mostly in the clear this weekend, but match day in Foxborough, Mass. could be impacted. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain at Gillette Stadium at kickoff. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s with 89 percent humidity.

History At Gillette Stadium

This will be the 10th all-time meeting between the two Eastern Conference opponents. Atlanta United owns the series 5-2-3.

The Revolution are unbeaten in three straight matches against Atlanta United, which includes the most recent meeting, the 2-2 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in May. On that day, Atlanta United opened the scoring with a golazo from Thiago Almada, a performance that earned him MLS Team of the Week honors. New England answered to go up 2-1, then Luiz Araújo scored the equalizer in the 63rd minute to extend Atlanta’s home unbeaten streak to 13 matches.

New-England-Revolution-Atlanta-United-May-15

Both teams have recorded a win against the other in Foxborough, Mass. The last time Atlanta United was able to pick up three points there was in 2019. Ezequiel Barco scored a brace, one that was named Goal of the Month, to lead Atlanta United to 2-0 victory and a clean sheet over the Revs. 

Streak For the New England Revolution 

While 2021 was a historical season for the Revolution, this season has gone a little differently for the reigning Supporters Shield champions. New England dropped three straight matches prior to the international break, conceding a total of six goals in that span. The team previously had a four-match losing streak earlier this season, so 2022 marks the first time in Bruce Arena’s MLS career that his team has had multiple losing streaks in the same season. 

New England currently sits toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference table with 38 points. However, New England is just two points behind Atlanta in the standings. With both teams still in contention to qualify for the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, both sides will be in “must-win” mode on Saturday. 

“I think for us it’s the same goal, which is winning,” Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda said on Friday. “These are must-win games. These are Finals for us.”

The Best Defense For Atlanta United 

Prior to the international break, Atlanta United had found a groove. On the offensive side of the ball, the team has scored five goals in its last three matches. Nine of Atlanta United’s last 11 goals have been scored via headers, six of those coming off corner kicks. It certainly helps to have 6-foot-2 center back Juanjo Purata, who scored a hat trick on headers in the September 10 match against Toronto FC and is now tied with striker Brandon Vázquez of FC Cincinnati for the MLS leader in headed goals (6). 

Atlanta United also tightened up its defense the past couple of matches. The club is coming off back-to-back clean sheets, including holding conference leaders Philadelphia Union to their lowest expected goals of the season (0.16). Pineda has found some consistency with his backline and starting goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño. So, if Atlanta United can keep that pace on both ends of the field, they may be able to steal three points on the road. 

“We’ve been improving, not just these last few games, but in general I think the last part of the season, we’ve been improving on active defending and immediate pressure and not allowing a lot of transition moments for opponents compared to what happened the first part of the season,” Pineda said.

Raul-Gudino-Save-Philadelphia-Union
Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
New England Revolution
Atlanta United
Pass Percentage
83.3% (9th)
84.6% (2nd)
Assists
51 (7th)
48 (11th)
Goals Conceded In Previous Three MLS Matches
6
3
Duel Percentage
52.4% (4th)
52.1% (5th)

Players To Watch 

Thiago Almada – If you don't have your eyes on Thiago Almada already, then you definitely should. The Atlanta United midfielder has been garnering worldwide attention, including praise from Lionel Messi, in recent weeks. He was also named to the MLS 22 Under 22 list presented by BODYARMOR. Prior to the Philadelphia Union match, Almada scored in back-to-back contests and will be looking to create more chances for himself, and teammates, on Saturday. 

Carles Gil – The attacking midfielder from Spain 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 (13) and tied for leader in goals scored (7), including the last goal scored for the Revolution – a penalty against Houston on September 13. 

Other Tidbits 

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

Atlanta United's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Atlanta United's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Our Holiday Gift Guide is your go-to place for all your Atlanta United gift needs.

FIFA World Cup 2022™ Watch Parties

FIFA World Cup 2022™ Watch Parties

The tournament kicks off in Qatar, and we're bringing the action straight to soccer fans in Atlanta.