Tools to the Match

Tools to the Match: How Atlanta collects three points in first meeting with St. Louis CITY SC  


Atlanta United continues its road trip on Saturday night when they head to St. Louis for the first time in franchise history to take on St. Louis CITY SC. The 5-Stripes are coming off a 1-0 road victory at D.C. United in midweek which gave the team two consecutive road victories. The hosts lost 3-0 at home against the Colorado Rapids and currently sit in 12th place in the Western Conference. Atlanta climbed up to ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings following the victory. Another win on Saturday would be a big boost of momentum for Atlanta as we near the end of June. Let’s take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot against St. Louis CITY SC.

Next man up mentality and being committed to each other

Atlanta United’s roster for the current road trip looks different than the roster that began the season. Whether its via transfer, UEFA Euro 2024, Copa America or injury, the team has been getting great contributions from the next man up. That mentality has also meant that the players who are available need to fully committed to each other and the team. That showed in the match against D.C. United in midweek. In that contest, homegrown center backs Efrain Morales and Noah Cobb started and played the full 90 minutes helping the team earn the clean sheet. By the end of that match, five homegrowns were on the pitch to close out the victory. That next man up mentality will be tested again on Saturday as Thiago Almada will miss the match due to yellow card accumulation. If the 5-Stripes can continue to get great contributions from their depth players, the team has a chance to secure three more road points in St. Louis.

Don’t play into the strengths of St. Louis’ team

After bursting onto the scene during their inaugural campaign last year, St. Louis is looking to find that same run of form this season. They play a similar style of play to New York Red Bulls with high pressure up the pitch. That press can create turnovers in dangerous situations. They have quality players that can take advantage of those situations. Brazilian striker Joao Klauss once again leads the team with five goals scored. Midfielder Eduard Löwen is tied for the team lead in assists with three and has created the most chances (28) among active players for St. Louis. If Atlanta can be clean on the ball in the back and find gaps in St. Louis’ press when they present themselves, they can take advantage with quick counter attacks and come away with a positive result.

Continue to play solid defense and limit St. Louis shooting chances

Coming off a clean sheet at D.C. United, Atlanta is looking to keep that momentum going defensively. Brad Guzan made four saves to earn the clean sheet and was rewarded with a spot on the MLS Team of the Matchday 21. Derrick Williams has been a solid veteran presence in the back, partnering with two Homegrowns in the midweek match. One of the keys to success on Saturday will be to limit St. Louis’ shooting chances. The hosts rank first in total shots (309) and seventh in shots on target (99). Five of St. Louis’ 23 goals have come from corner kicks. If Atlanta’s defense can limit defensive set pieces and shooting chances, they will have a good chance to secure more road points on Saturday night.

Fans can tune in on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV Saturday night at 8:30 pm ET when the action kicks off at CITYPARK in St. Louis, Mo. To hear the action on radio, tune into Sports Radio 92.9 The Game (English) or La Mejor – AM 1600 (Spanish).

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