On Saturday night, Atlanta return to Bobby Dodd Stadium to face the Colorado Rapids for the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. Atlanta (6-7-3) are searching for a fourth-straight victory at home, meanwhile Colorado (5-9-1) hopes to earn their first points on the road this season.
Ahead of Saturday night’s cross-conference matchup, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) First to the Net
Atlanta have been the first team on the scoresheet in 13 out of their 16 matches this season including all four of their victories at home in which they’ve scored three or more goals in each. In addition, Colorado has yet to capture any points on the road this year, making it seven straight away losses for the Rapids dating back to last season. If the expansion side could bag an early one and amp up the Atlanta faithful, it could help them shut a team down early that’s clearly struggled in front of away crowds.
2) The Martinez Momentum Train
The fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium went mental for Josef Martinez even before their #7 actually stepped on the field last week in his return at home. He’s now clocked minutes in four competitions since recovering from a quad injury, scoring in two of them and nearly grabbing an epic stoppage-time equalizer in their midweek matchup vs D.C. United. The Venezuelan international has three goals through his last two matches in Bobby Dodd and the ATLiens will surely be rooting for him loud and proud on Saturday in hopes that he will add to that tally.
3) Beware of Badji
The 2015 SuperDraft selection sustained a solid season last year but has really proven to be a valuable asset for the Rapids in 2017, leading his team with four goals thus far. They may be a low-scoring, defensive team but alongside Irish international forward Kevin Doyle, the tenacious Dominique Badji wreaks havoc up front, looks to capitalize on mistakes and take advantage of any transition opportunities that may emerge.
How to Follow
You can catch all the action between Atlanta United and Colorado Rapids starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on FOX Sports Southeast or via FOX Sports GO.