Tools to the Match: How Atlanta United defeats rival Orlando City

Atlanta United is looking for back-to-back victories when they host Orlando City SC on Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The match kicks off at 7pm ET on Fox Sports Southeast. Let’s take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot.

Protect The Benz

Atlanta United is coming off a 4-0 road win at D.C. United on the weekend and looks to carry that momentum into Wednesday’s home match against rivals Orlando. Atlanta’s home field advantage is one of the best in the league since the 5-Stripes began play in MLS. The team’s home record in MLS play is 42-10-12 when you combine regular season and postseason. Last time out against Orlando at home, Atlanta fell 3-1. They look to reverse that scoreline on Wednesday night.   

Slow down Orlando’s attacking trident

Orlando City are having a strong regular season. Their attack has scored 28 goals, which is the most in the Eastern Conference. Chris Mueller leads the team with seven goals and six assists. Former Manchester United winger Nani has added four goals, while striker Daryl Dike is in the running for Rookie of the Year. 

Atlanta’s defense is coming off a very strong outing, recording the team’s fourth clean sheet of the season while not allowing a single shot on target vs. D.C. United. In 11 all-time matches against Orlando City, Atlanta has kept a clean sheet five times. Keeping Orlando’s attack in check will go a long way to picking up three points for the 5-Stripes. 

Gallagher and Lennon stay hot

Jon Gallagher was on fire against D.C. United, scoring his first brace in MLS. He became the 9th different Atlanta United player to score a brace for the club in league play. The Irish midfielder now leads the team with three goals coming into Wednesday’s match with Orlando. His outstanding play on the weekend earned him MLS Team of the Week honors. 

Another 5-Stripe who made the MLS Team of the Week was Brooks Lennon, who put on a show in D.C. Lennon scored an absolute stunner, then added two assists off pin-point crosses in his best performance since joining Atlanta United. His crossing ability, something he has worked hard on throughout his career, has been on point all year. In fact, among players with 30+ crosses, Lennon ranks 2nd in MLS with a crossing accuracy of 31.25 percent. The Lennon to Gallagher connection could be crucial on Wednesday.

Tune in to the match on Wednesday night on Fox Sports Southeast when Atlanta United hosts Orlando City SC at 7pm ET.