On Wednesday night, Atlanta United head to the nation’s capital to face off against Eastern Conference opponents D.C. United. Atlanta (6-6-3) are coming off a 3-1 victory over the Crew and are hoping to get revenge for the 3-1 result that D.C. (4-8-3) handed them earlier this season in the ATL.
Ahead of Wednesday’s clash between the United’s, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) Secure the Clean Sheet
D.C. United are enduring a period of severe scoring woes. They have struggled to find the back of the net in three straight matches and have only tallied one goal in the last seven games, which came from the penalty spot. Atlanta have experienced quite the contrary, leading the entire league in goals with 31 on the year. If that run continues, the expansion side should be able to grab at least a goal. And if they can also secure a clean sheet on Wednesday, it would not only guarantee the point(s), but also add to the team’s momentum heading into the thick of the season.
2) Send #7 Through
Number seven is back and it’s as though he never left. Atlanta’s Josef Martinez returned to the field last week after being sidelined for nearly three months with a quad injury. He took the league by storm scoring five goals in his first three MLS matches before suffering an injury on international duty, but Martinez has immediately picked up where left off. He notched two goals last week, scoring in the club’s U.S. Open Cup debut as well as in their victory over the Crew. The Venezuela international leads the league in goals per 90 minutes played with 1.7, the most among anyone with at least five goals.
3) Lock Down Luciano
D.C. may be in a scoring drought but their Argentine maestro in the midfield is always one to keep an eye on. After joining the club on loan last year and thriving in the U.S. capital, Luciano Acosta signed permanently for D.C. United in the offseason, and head coach Ben Olsen can have no regrets. The 23-year-old has been brilliant for the black and red and was instrumental in their 3-1 victory over Atlanta last time out, scoring the game-winner while also sending through Sébastien Le Toux for the dagger.
How to Follow
You can catch all the action between Atlanta United and D.C. United starting at 7:30 p.m. EST on FOX Sports South or via FOX Sports GO.