A look back at the best: Atlanta United’s Top 5 Saves so far this season

With a week off for Atlanta United before they enter the final 10 matches of the season, we’re using the break to look back at some of our favorite moments so far in 2018. In addition to their electric attack, so crucial to the success of the 5-Stripes this season has been on the defensive side of the ball with only three teams having conceded less than Atlanta. To recognize just some of that remarkable defensive work, here’s our Top 5 saves so far this year:

5) Brad Guzan vs New York City FC – June 9th

In June, Atlanta picked up a valuable road point at New York City, drawing 1-1 and becoming the first team to earn a point in the Bronx this season. But it wasn’t without some heroics from Brad Guzan who tallied a franchise record nine saves on the day. While it’s hard to pick out just one moment from the man they call “Guuuuuuuz”, his most impressive may be this effort to deny NYC’s Maxi Moralez who thought he may be in on goal until an outstretched Guzan read his intentions like a book:

4) Franco Escobar at Chicago Fire – May 5th

Atlanta’s 2-1 win in Chicago may be their grittiest road win of the season against a Fire side that wouldn’t quit pressing. But like they have on the road all season, they produced a complete performance on both sides of the ball. And one of the shining defensive moments included this Franco Escobar goal line save which seemed to leave even Brad Guzan mind blown:

3) Brad Guzan at Minnesota United – March 31st

As if the cold wasn’t enough to handle, Atlanta was forced to play the majority of the match in Minnesota down a man after a first half Leandro Gonzalez Pirez red card. But despite the disadvantage in personnel, they defended their early 1-0 lead successfully to the final whistle, capturing all three points and a clean sheet. And the story may have unraveled differently if it weren’t for this vital late save from Brad Guzan:

2) Brad Guzan & Mikey Ambrose vs Orlando City – June 30th

If you ask about the biggest Atlanta United win this season, many will say the 4-0 thrashing of Orlando City at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of 71,932 fans. And while Martinez, Almiron and Barco all got themselves on the score sheet, what the whopping score line didn’t show was a heroic effort in the first half to maintain the 1-0 lead going into the break. First, it was Brad Guzan who was called upon to defend the net and seconds later, Mikey Ambrose slid in to complete the epic series:

1) Brad Guzan vs D.C. United – July 21st

Again it was the attack grabbing the headlines with Josef Martinez breaking the hat trick record at home in a 3-1 win over D.C. But the visitors didn’t make it easy for the Five Stripes, going up early and forcing Atlanta to fight back. Fortunately, Brad Guzan – poised as ever – was able to prevent them from retaking the lead in the first half with this incredible double save including stopping a deflected cross and a volley both from inside the six yard box: