Tools to the Match: How Atlanta United can earn three points against FC Dallas

Atlanta United returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday night to take on Western Conference opponent FC Dallas. The match kicks off at 7pm ET on Fox Sports South. Take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot.

Score The First Goal

Goals change games. Goals breed confidence. Atlanta United needs to come out and score the first goal. Throughout the team’s young history, scoring the first goal has been an indicator of success, especially at home. In it’s MLS Regular Season history, Atlanta United has scored the first goal at home 41 times. In those 41 matches, the team’s record is 33 wins - 4 losses - 4 ties. This season the team is 2-0-0 when scoring first. The 5-Stripes need to start fast and score the first goal against a tough FC Dallas side. 

Reverse The Trends

FC Dallas is on a three-match winning streak, while Atlanta has lost three in a row heading into Wednesday’s clash. The 5-Stripes will look to reverse those trends. Dallas’ victories have come against Nashville, Sporting KC and Colorado. Their offense has scored 9 goals in those matches. Franco Jara (4) and Santiago Mosquera (3) are two of the main threats that Atlanta United’s defense will need to contain. 

One of those defenders will be 18-year-old Homegrown George Bello, who has cemented his spot at left back with excellent performances since the restart. Bello ranks 9th in MLS with 1.89 Tackles Won per match. His improvements on both ends of the pitch are evident for interim head coach Stephen Glass. 

“His development has been accelerated by his understanding of what we as a club and coaching staff want from him” Glass said this week. “His timing and speed when he supports the attack has improved. His aggression defensively has improved and his ability to get back into our defensive shape has improved.” 

Utilize The Speed On The Flanks

Jon Gallagher and Jake Mulraney provided a new look for the 5-Stripes on the flanks last time out against Miami. Both players are quick with and without the ball and put their skills on display. Gallagher was rewarded with a goal, while Mulraney showed his 1v1 dribbling ability and sent several dangerous crosses into the box. Speed has always been a big part of Atlanta United’s DNA. You can point to the fact the team has scored more goals from fast breaks (17) than any other MLS team since 2017 for more evidence. Utilizing that speed will be key to earn three points on Wednesday night when Dallas comes to town. 

Tune in to the match on Wednesday night on Fox Sports South when Atlanta United hosts FC Dallas at 7pm ET.