Another first for Atlanta United (11-8-6) this Wednesday as they face the New England Revolution (10-12-5) for the first time in team history. After winning just five of their first 19 matches this season, the Revs have turned their season around with five wins in their last eight, clawing their way back into the playoff picture. Here’s what Atlanta United fans should expect out of their next opponent.
Nguyen pulling the strings
It’s no secret that as Lee Nguyen goes, so do the New England Revolution. That was true for their MLS Cup final run a few seasons ago and remains true today. Last week against Orlando City, Nguyen became the fifth player in league history to tally four assists in one game, bringing him just one shy of the league lead this season. He’s added nine goals to that, just two behind Kei Kamara for best on his team. Nguyen is a classic creative playmaker who loves to receive the ball in in the space between the midfield and defenders. Carlos Carmona and Jeff Larentowicz will be crucial in closing down on Nguyen and not allowing him to get time and space on the ball in New England’s attacking third.
Bunbury Burning the Wing
While Kei Kamara leads the team in goals – and had his first career hat trick just last week – he’s arguable not even the hottest striker in their front line. Teal Bunbury scored his sixth goal of the season last week. While that’s just over half of Kamara’s tally on the season, all of Bunbury’s goals have come in their last nine games, since July 5th. In fact, the Revolution have won half of the eight matches Bunbury has started, and have won less than a third of the matches he’s missed this season. Bunbury recorded the assist that helped the Revolution sink the red-hot Montreal Impact over the weekend, and will be a key player for the Atlanta United defense to focus on this Wednesday.
While the Revolution have turned their form around lately, they have an abysmal road record so far this year: 0 wins, 3 draws and 10 losses. That should play right into the hands of Atlanta United, who have been nearly unbeatable at home recently, with 6 wins and a draw in their last seven matches in Atlanta. In their much-anticipated homecoming over the weekend, Atlanta’s offense was back to its scintillating best, with their 12 shots on target tied for the most in one match for any team in MLS this season. With another raucous crowd behind them, Atlanta United will be hoping to ride that home momentum past a team trying to claw their way back into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
If you can’t make it to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday, make sure to tune in on TV or the radio. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., with the match set to be broadcast on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Go, as well as our radio partners, 92.9 The Game and La Mejor Atlanta. Make sure you don’t miss out on the next match – against Orlando City on Saturday – by getting your tickets here.