Tools to the Match

Tools to the Match: How Atlanta continues unbeaten run at LAFC 


After a weekend off, Atlanta United is back in action in midweek when it travels to the West Coast to take on LAFC. The 5-Stripes are unbeaten in their last four league matches and look to extend that streak on Wednesday night. Atlanta’s attack continues to shine as the team features the second-highest scoring attack. The team comes into this match sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while LAFC returns to league play sitting in third in the Western Conference. LAFC was in action over the weekend, falling in the Concacaf Champions League Final to Leon of Liga MX. Wednesday night’s clash is only the fourth all-time meeting between the two sides over the years. The 5-Stripes have won both home contests against LAFC, while the team fell 4-3 in 2019 in the only road match for Atlanta in the series. Atlanta will look to capture its second road win of the season on Wednesday. Let’s take a closer look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot against LAFC.

Dominate the match from the first whistle; learn from mistakes

Atlanta faced an uphill battle from the opening minute last time out against New England. The team showed a lot of character, poise and urgency after falling behind by two goals in the first half. The team has been working on learning from those individual mistakes this past week in training and will look to implement those learnings against LAFC.

The Five Stripes will also need to continue that dominance that allowed them to score three unanswered goals against New England during this next match. The team was able to create many scoring chances and showed the urgency in all phases of the game. It will need to show that same urgency from the opening whistle in order to secure a positive result against an LAFC side that has played excellent in league play this year. Atlanta’s attack, led by Thiago Almada and Giorgos Giakoumakis, will look to continue its excellent run of form and if they continue to create and score goals like in the last couple of weeks, Atlanta can bring home a positive result from BMO Stadium for the first time.

Be prepared for all options that LAFC can throw at you

LAFC is coming off a tough loss in the Concacaf Champions League Final this past week. After falling 2-1 in leg one, the MLS side was unable to overturn that result in the return leg, eventually falling 3-1 on aggregate to Club Leon. Having thrown everything into trying to become just the second MLS team to win the CCL title in recent times, it will be interesting to see what kind of lineup Steve Cherundolo is going to pick on Wednesday night.

LAFC features several dangerous attacking options, none more so than striker Denis Bouanga. The newcomer has made an instant impact, leading the Golden Boot race with 10 goals, one ahead of Giakoumakis. Carlos Vela has been the talisman for this team ever since it joined MLS, and he’s having another good start to the season with four goals and five assists in just 690 minutes of play. Atlanta’s defense will need to be prepared for anything that LAFC may throw at them. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan is sitting on 49 MLS Regular Season clean sheets with Atlanta United and looking to make it 50 on Wednesday night. If he does, then Atlanta will be in prime position to bring home three big road points.

Get more production from wingers to round out attack

Atlanta has gotten a lot of goal production this season from its two main attacking options in Giakoumakis (nine goals) and Almada (seven goals, eight assists). One of the areas where the Five Stripes are looking to get even more dangerous in attack is from the winger position. Luiz Araújo and Derrick Etienne Jr. have been getting the majority of the minutes lately and will look to make a bigger impact on the game. Etienne Jr.’s runs in behind have helped stretch defenses in recent matches, which provides more room for Almada in the middle of the park. Araújo, who will be joining Brazilian side Flamengo in a couple of weeks, did a good job of linking up play with Brooks Lennon down the right flank against New England. If Atlanta can get more production from their wingers, this attack will become even more dangerous.

Fans can tune in nationally on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app on Wednesday night at 10:30pm ET when the action kicks off at BMO Stadium. To hear the action on radio, tune into Sports Radio 92.9 The Game (English) or La Mejor – AM 1600 (Spanish).