The inaugural season was one to remember for the Five Stripes, breaking records on and off the field, finishing fourth in the Supporters’ Shield standings and reaching the playoffs all in year one. But the offseason proved Atlanta was clearly not ready to settle, with seveal major offseason additions pushing the club seven points ahead of where they were at this point last season. Here’s where Atlanta United stands through 12 matches so far this year:
1st in Supporters’ Shield Standings
With 8 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw, Atlanta United sit at the top of the Eastern Conference table with 25 points in 12 matches. Their point total not only leads the East, but it also bests the West which puts them 1st in the Supporters’ Shield standings. To add to their impressive record, no team has scored more goals (26) or garnered more points on the road (12) than the Five Stripes.
Golden Boot Race
After scoring 19 goals in 20 matches last season, it’s no surprise Josef Martinez is chasing the Golden Boot once again. The Venezuelan international has already bagged 8 goals which, alongside New York’s Bradley Wright-Phillips and Columbus’s Gyasi Zardes, leads the league in 2018. Three of his goals came in the form of a hat trick and an MLS Player of the Week performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps in March. If Martinez can stay healthy and continue at this goal-scoring pace, we could see the striker tie the MLS record for all-time hat tricks (5) and surpass last year’s Golden Boot tally of 24.
Goalkeeper of the Year Race
Atlanta United signed Brad Guzan from English club Middleborough before the start of last season but the goalkeeper wasn’t eligible for MLS until mid-summer. Once he officially joined the team, Guzan made an immediate impact, recording 8 clean sheets in 14 matches which was just short of Tim Melia’s tally that helped him earn the 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. While Guzan only has three this season, he’s also only conceded one goal on four occasions, none of which had an impact on the result. He’s been a massive part of their four-match road winning streak and if he can keep up his form for his first full season back in the league, he will surely be a Goalkeeper of the Year candidate.
The reigning MLS Newcomer of the Year is at it again. Crafty, creative and pure class, Atlanta United’s number 10 Miguel Almirón is enjoying an MVP-worthy season so far in 2018. The Paraguayan international has recorded six goals and five assists including a brace against Montreal Impact that earned him MLS Player of the Week honors and an exceptional April that saw him take home the league’s Player of the Month award. He ranks in the top five of MLS in touches, touches in the opponent’s box, chances created and leads the league in passes in the attacking third. With his unmatched poise on the ball mixed with his tireless work rate, the man they call Miggy continues to show that his debut MLS season was just the beginning.
Next up for Atlanta will be a trip up North to face the New England Revolution on May 30th before kicking off a five-match stretch in June – starting with a return home against the Philadelphia Union and ending with an expanded capacity match in Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Orlando City. Make sure you’re there for all the summer action by securing your tickets here.