Tools ATLvNYRB

Atlanta United returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday to take on the New York Red Bulls. The 5-Stripes are coming off a midweek defeat, while the Red Bulls are on the road for the second consecutive match. With a victory on Sunday, Atlanta can jump New York in the standings. Let’s take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot.
Beat the press in order to create
Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls have played several times over the past years. New York’s formula for attacking the 5-Stripes rarely changes. One of the keys to victory will be how Atlanta United is able to deal with the pressure that New York applies and break those lines while building out of the back. The Red Bulls apply the most pressure in the league (2,016 total pressures) and have the third-highest pressure success rate at 32.1 in MLS. 
To break that pressure, Atlanta’s backline will have to be effective in its buildup play. In particular, Miles Robinson has shown consistent improvement in his passing. After averaging 5.4 passes into the final third from his center back position the last two seasons, Robinson is up to 8.2 passes per match this season. Look for Robinson and the other Atlanta defenders to break the pressure and provide spaces for the rest of the team to attack. 
Watch out for Clark and Fabio
While many focus on New York Red Bulls pressing style of play, they possess several quality players who can punish any mistakes you make in the buildup. Caden Clark is the latest midfield star to emerge from the Red Bulls academy. The midfielder leads the team with four goals and two assists. Clark scored the winner in last year’s matchup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. One of the new additions to this year’s Red Bulls’ squad is striker Fabio. He joined from Brazil prior to this season and has started eight of nine matches. He leads the team with five assists as his hold up and combination play have been a bright spot. The forward tallied his first goal in a 2-0 win vs. Nashville earlier this month. 
Convert possession into goals
With 59.6 percent possession, Atlanta United continues to lead the league in that category. The 5-Stripes have controlled play in nearly all of their matches. They will need to turn that possession into chances and ultimately goals on Sunday in order to keep the three points at home. Brooks Lennon continues to be one of the top players in MLS in terms of creating chances. He enters this weekend with 27, which ranks him third in the league. Lennon and George Bello are providing good attacking options down the flanks for Gabriel Heinze’s team. With Josef Martinez still on international duty, Sunday will provide another chance for another striker on the roster to step in and convert those chances that the team is creating. 
Atlanta will continue to look for scoring punch from its midfield as well. Marcelino Moreno leads the team in goals with three, while Erik Lopez and Ezequiel Barco have found the back of the net once during MLS play. 
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Atlanta United hosting New York Red Bulls. Fans can tune in on Bally Sports South or follow on radio on Sports Radio 92-9 The Game.