It’s all or nothing. Atlanta United has had a rough start in the MLS is Back Tournament, with two losses in their first two Group Stage matches. Tuesday, they play with their backs against the wall for a chance to advance.
Ahead of the match against the Columbus Crew, we broke down the Tools to the Match, presented by The Home Depot:
Win or Go Home
With two losses on the board, Atlanta United needs a win to maintain any hope of advancing out of Group E. Even a victory wouldn’t officially secure a spot in the Knockout Round for the 5-Stripes. The match between FC Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls cannot end in a tie, as both teams would end up with four points in the Group Stage. Following a win, the 17s will have to wait 24 hours to know where their destiny lies, with Cincinnati vs. Red Bulls kicking off at 8pm ET on Wednesday night. In addition to that, the 5-Stripes need a few more things to go their way. For all the scenarios explained, check out this article here.
Winning the Midfield
The team faces a familiar face in the midfield when facing Columbus Crew – Darlington Nagbe, arguably one of the best midfielders in MLS. Nagbe played two seasons for the 5-Stripes, playing a key role as the club won multiple trophies. On Tuesday, Atlanta’s midfielders, Emerson Hyndman, Mo Adams, Eric Remedi, and Jeff Larentowicz will need to control the midfield and get Atlanta United’s attack started.
All Eyes on the Attack
ATL UTD hasn’t been able to find the back of the net during either of its first two matches at the MLS is Back Tournament. To preserve any hope of advancing, the attack will need to get back on track. The team has created plenty of shots on goal and chances but hasn’t sealed the deal. Ezequiel Barco currently leads the team in shots (11) with Pity Martínez having created the most chances on the team (7) during the tournament.
The match starts Tuesday night at 8 PM on ESPN 2 and in Spanish on TUDN.