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    Atlanta United thwarted again by Red Bulls, lose 1-0

    Atlanta United’s two-match undefeated streak (*sigh*) came to an end after a loss to familiar foe New York Red Bulls 1-0 Saturday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 17-year-old Caden Clark, who made his debut against Atlanta tonight, volleyed the winner past Brad Guzan from outside the penalty area to give Red Bulls the win. The result saw Atlanta fall to 9th in the Eastern Conference, though Atlanta could potentially finish the weekend anywhere as low as 11th in the East.

    Lineups

    Most notably, Marcelino Moreno made his debut and first start for the club today. Tonight’s match was Moreno’s first involvement with the team, having yet to train with any other personnel, including manager Stephen Glass, due to COVID restrictions.

    Highlights

    Jake Mulraney’s off-target shot in the 38th minute nearly deflected off Daniel Royer and into goal, but the effort was ultimately blocked by the crossbar.

    Though there were no goals, the first half was actually entertaining. The tempo and creativity in the buildup allowed Atlanta to play through and around New York’s press. Moreno began growing into and influencing the match, connecting passes and playing in that creative role in the midfield. Atlanta couldn’t capitalize on its creative passing, failing to put a single shot on target in the first half.

    The first shot on target came in the opening minutes of the second half. Brad Guzan made an impressive save to keep it 0-0, but he couldn’t prevent the subsequent corner kick from leading to an impressive goal by Caden Clark.

    Dru Yearwood nearly extended his team’s lead with a vicious strike from the top of the penalty area, but the woodwork saved Atlanta from conceding a second.

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    Despite late efforts from Emerson Hyndman, John Gallagher and a second half stoppage time appearance in the opposition penalty area by Guzan, Atlanta lost 1-0. Tonight’s result leaves Atlanta with 18 points from 17 matches. Not great.

    The second half looked different from the get go. Atlanta didn’t display the same promising, fluid passing they had shown in the first half. The players just couldn’t get back into in. Though Moreno had played well and had been one of Atlanta’s most influential players in the first half, he had trouble reaching that level again. Of course, we can’t expect much more out of a guy who has yet to train with the team and hasn’t played a competitive match since March.

    Takeaways

    • Atlanta needs to look at what they did in the first half, because that was one of the most entertaining half I’ve seen from Atlanta in a long while. The buildup was there, but the final product and getting-a-shot-away part of the buildup wasn’t there. It’s something to build on. Right?
    • Interim manager Stephen Glass needs to get his team to work on creating those scoring opportunities because…

    Man of the Match

    Franco Escobar was solid tonight, and watching him play as one half of a two-man center back system is entertaining, to say the least. It’s also always a nice surprise when he doesn’t get a yellow card!

    Tweet of the Match

    What’s Next?

    Miami. Wednesday. 8 p.m. We go again.

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