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Atlanta United returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon when the New England Revolution come to town. The 5-Stripes are coming off a midweek, extra time defeat to Nashville in the U.S. Open Cup, while New England earned a victory against FC Cincinnati to advance in the Open Cup. In its last MLS match, Atlanta United picked up all three points at home against Chicago to stay in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. New England, who won the Supporters Shield last year, sits in 11th place coming into this weekend’s action. Let’s take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot against New England Revolution.  

Keep the attacking vibes going 

Last weekend, Ronaldo Cisneros became just the second ATL UTD player to score a first-half hat trick. He was rewarded for his outstanding performance with MLS Player of the Week, Team of the Week and Goal of the Week honors. The first goal against Chicago was a masterclass in the type of fast, attacking type of play that head coach Gonzalo Pineda wants to see. The trio of Thiago Almada, Marcelino Moreno and Luiz Araújo combined in midfield before finding an open Cisneros at the top of the box. In midweek, Moreno starred again with two assists, while Almada and Araújo found the back of the net. Atlanta United needs to keep those attacking vibes going this weekend in order to collect three more points at home.     

Don’t let Gil dictate the action 

The reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil is the type of player that every opposing team needs to be aware of going into a match against New England. He once again ranks among the league leaders is key passes (2nd in MLS with 33) and assists (t-2nd with 5). He’s coming off a hat trick in U.S. Open Cup play in midweek against FC Cincinnati. Atlanta’s midfield will have a huge task on their hands to keep Gil from taking over the game. The midfielder has proven time and again that he can find forwards like Adam Buksa, Gustavo Bou or even Jozy Altidore.  

While Bou has been hampered with injuries, Buksa leads the team with four goals scored. He scored a brace in midweek, so he’s coming to Mercedes-Benz Stadium full of confidence. Atlanta’s backline is looking for its third clean sheet of the season. Controlling the midfield tempo and not allowing Gil the chance to create from open play or set pieces will go a long way to earning that clean sheet and keeping three points at home.    

Rest, Recover and Home Sweet Home

Playing 120 minutes in midweek is not ideal preparation for a big clash on Sunday, so Atlanta United’s squad will have to put extra emphasis this week on its recovery. Playing at home in front of the 5-Stripes faithful always provides an energy lift for the side, and they will need that on Sunday to defeat New England.  

Atlanta United enters the match riding a 12-match unbeaten run at home dating back to last season. This season, ATL UTD sits with a 3-0-2 (W-L-T) record at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. With two more home matches scheduled before the June International break, the 5-Stripes have a big chance to climb up the standings this month and solidify their spot among the Eastern Conference’s top sides. A win on Sunday would be a big first step to closing out May strong.  

Fans can tune in nationally on Sunday afternoon with kickoff set for 1:30pm ET. Click here to learn all the ways you can watch, listen and live stream the match.