A disappointing day on the road for Atlanta United, who fell 2-0 to the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Sunday. The loss means the Five Stripes now hold a one-point advantage atop the Supporters’ Shield standings heading into the final three matches of the season.
Tata Martino put out the same lineup that won their last road match, with Michael Parkhurst and Chris McCann returning to the back line. The Full XI: Brad Guzan (GK), Chris McCann (DEF), Leandro González Pirez (DEF), Michael Parkhurst (DEF), Julian Gressel (DEF), Jeff Larentowicz (CM), Eric Remedi (CM), Darlington Nagbe (CM), Miguel Almirón (FW), Tito Villalba (FW), Josef Martinez (FW).
It was a tense first half, with Atlanta United’s possession philosophy clashing with the Red Bulls’ high-pressing defense. Almirón came closest, with Eric Remedi springing him behind the Red Bulls defense, but he couldn’t get a shot off in time and Robles came out to smother the chance. Brad Guzan had a stellar play to keep the score level early, jumping off his line and pouncing on a loose touch by Muyl to snuff out a chance of his own. But it was the Red Bulls that got on the board first, and it came from the penalty spot. An in-swinging corner kick was headed into the hand of Chris McCann, and the ref pointed to the spot. Daniel Royer made it 1-0, and that’s where the match stood as the teams entered the tunnel after the halftime whistle.
The second half started stronger, with Atlanta United settling into possession and dominating more of the ball moving forward. Ezequiel Barco and Brandon Vazquez came in to bring energy and fresh legs to the front line, but the chances were hard to come by as the clock ticked on. The Red Bulls took advantage of Atlanta United’s cutting edge with a goal of their own, another play off a corner kick that ended in a tap-in from Tim Parker to make it 2-0.
The ref would point to the spot once again before the final whistle, for a cross that ricocheted into the hand of Eric Remedi at the byline in the 87th minute. But Brad Guzan did well to keep the scoreline where it was, with a sprawling save to keep out Kaku. But despite a big chance for Brandon Vazquez and a penalty shout for Almirón in the final minutes, the Five Stripes ran out of time to make their comeback, with the score ending 2-0.
The result means the Red Bulls pull within a point of Atlanta United in the Supporters’ Shield standings, but the red, black and gold still control their own destiny heading into the final stretch of the season. They will look to rebound and keep their lead at the top next week as they host the New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time since the 7-0 result in Atlanta last season. Tickets to that match are still available, so make sure you’re there to push them on to a big win by getting your tickets here.