Tools to the Match: How Atlanta United picks up three points vs. New York Red Bulls

Atlanta United continues its homestand with an important match against New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The match kicks off at 6pm ET on Fox Sports South. Let’s take a look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot.

Defense Stays Locked In   

Atlanta United collected its fifth clean sheet of the season in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against Orlando City. The 5-Stripes’ defense now has three clean sheets in their last four matches, which is tied for the lead in MLS in that stretch. Brad Guzan came up big with six saves against Orlando, the fifth time he had to make 6+ saves in a single match in his Atlanta career. In the all-time series, Atlanta has shut out the New York Red Bulls twice, once in the regular season and once in the playoffs.    

Keeping Royer in Check

The Red Bulls have been a thorn in Atlanta United’s side during the MLS Regular Season. New York leads the all-time series 6-1-2, with the record sitting at 5-0-2 in the regular season. Daniel Royer, who leads the team this season with four goals and three assists, has had success against Atlanta in the past. In the seven regular season matchups, Royer has produced four goals and two assists vs. Atlanta. Containing Royer and the rest of the Red Bulls attack will be one of the keys to success for Atlanta United on Saturday night.  

Matching New York’s Energy and Beating the Press

It’s no secret as to how the Red Bulls will approach Saturday night’s clash. They will bring energy and high pressing to the pitch. Atlanta United needs to match that energy at home and beat that high press to open up spaces on the attack. Precise passing and quick combination plays will be a key to breaking New York’s pressure. So far this season, Atlanta ranks second in MLS with an 84.79 passing accuracy. 

It’s an important match for both teams in terms of playoff standings. With a victory, Atlanta would leapfrog New York in the table. Another important aspect for 5-Stripe fans is that Saturday could be the introduction of Atlanta’s newest Designated Player Marcelino Moreno. The Argentine midfielder is eligible to play on Saturday for the first time and will add an element of speed, skill and attacking force to Atlanta’s offense for the rest of the 2020 campaign. 

Tune in to the match on Saturday night on Fox Sports South when Atlanta United hosts New York Red Bulls at 6pm ET.