The Atlanta United are making their presence felt in the MLS and Wednesdays win over the Vancouver Whitecaps was just another shining example of their superior play and focus on getting the job done as they went on to earn their third back-to-back win.
After watching as Vancouver dropped down to 3-6-3 after its 1-0 loss, coach Marc Dos Santos called the night clumsy adding,
“That’s frustrating to lose like that. That’s frustrating. I don’t have a clue how I’m going to deal with that.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps have been plagued by penalty kicks all season, and with eleven games this season, they have given up seven of them and are fast approaching matching lasts years nine losses, and unless something changes, they are likely to surpass it.
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Marc Dos Santos, who is coaching his year as head coach with an MLS club, commented that he has never seen a team that gives up so many similar opportunities. Dos Santos added,
“It’s incredible. It’s way too many. It’s concerning me. We have to address it.”
Atlanta was handed a penalty kick halfway through the first half after Gonzalo Martinez was run into by Vancouver’s Lass Bangoura in the penalty area. That incident was reviewed by officials who determined it a foul. Atlanta’s Josef Martinez was chosen to take the kick and fired it past goaltender Maxime Crepeau to put United up by one.
Martinez, a 25 year old striker with the Atlanta United has scored five goals this year and last year was at the top of the league with 31 goals, almost one for each of the 34 games played. The win gave Atlanta their fifth in a row.
Vancouver struggled to breakthrough Atlanta’s back end on Wednesday. While they had possession of the ball 54% of the game, they created few scoring opportunities. Andy Rose, who plays midfield for Vancouver, commented that he thought Atlanta was organised. Rose added,
” I think there were times when we were impatient. But the more opportunities we got to possess the ball in the final third and put quality delivery in the box would have helped. But for sure they were very compact and organized at the back.”
The first half Vancouver failed to take a single shot on target, and that has resulted in Vancouver’s coaching staff asking for more penetration, runs and movement in the second half. Commenting, Dos Santos said,
“We asked the guys to be much more pragmatic in the last third because if you’re there against Atlanta and you’re always looking for the perfect play, it’s not going to help you, and there were moments where we had to be a little more aggressive.”
The Atlanta United have a solid team and are looking promising for another title run this season as winning the MLS Cup last year. While they had a slower start this season, they are a force to reckon with, and that was noted by Andy Rose, who stated,
“Against these teams, you just have to put the ball in the back of the net,” he said. We came into this evening in a very good run of form. And it just goes to show that when you play a top team, you have to finish your chances.”
United goalkeeper Brad Guzan only has to make two saves Wednesday,while Maxime Crepeau had five. Crepeau got the crowds on their feet in Vancouver after stopping three shots almost back-to-back. Crepeau, while speaking about the rapid shots post-game said,
“I just remember that I focused on one ball on at a time, that’s it. I’m happy that I kept the team in the game and gave them a chance to actually tie or win. But it’s disappointing to not get any points right now.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps next will head to Kansas to play the Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, while Atlanta will head to New York to take on the Red Bulls on Sunday.