So… About that All-Star Game…
It took all of, about, three or four minutes for Atlanta United fans to hate the format from now until the end of time…
Atlanta, as a fan base, was griping and gripping…
You get the idea…
PEOPLE WERE NOT HAPPY!
They were a little less unhappy when it was announced that Garza would be out for only 7-10 days instead of 7-10 weeks… but that creates an issue on the back line heading into the match with the best in the west in Sporting…
The Starting XI will be a bit different…
But just how much is the question…
It could be just as simple as bringing in Mikey Ambrose as a straight swap for Garza this time around. But, with Mark Bloom no longer on the injured list, he could be back in the equation. The current play of Anton Walkes would mean that someone comes in on the left and Walkes would stay in the line-up.
Is it Ambrose? Tyrone Mears as a veteran presence in a tough environment? Mark Bloom on the edge? Interesting thoughts…
And, with Josef Martinez still out with his bone/foot contusion, team president Darren Eales wants him healthy for the stretch run so there won’t be any undue risks with schedule gaps coming soon. It means the line-up with Tito Villalba up top stays as is, but the question is on the right-wing. Is it Brandon Vazquez with his height and post-up presence before Julian Gressel? Or is it Gressel running for 60 minutes and Vazquez coming in to get the close?
It’s a few questions, but they’re still questions…
About Last Time?
Before the All-Star game, we mean. This is how Sporting Kansas City looked “without” Dom Dwyer. See if you notice anything…
Is it just Multiplex, or did Sporting seem a little freer on offense than WITH Dwyer?
That’s what we thought you’d say.
Head Coach Peter Vermes had every reason to be excited about his new XI:
"“It was some of the best that we’ve had. I was telling somebody before that I thought thatbetween Diego [Rubio] and Daniel [Salloi], it’s almost like they’ve been playing togetherfor 10 years with the relationship and combination play. The ball that Diego plays himhere late in the second half, where he kind of goes to his left and cuts back to theright and slips in through, and Daniel misses it to the far post, that was a fantastic littlecombination. It was very good. Daniel’s movement off the ball was good. But Diego wasvery good in holding the ball up for us tonight, it caused a lot of problems for them. It’samazing that he doesn’t have a hat trick tonight, honestly.”"
Then, there’s Atlanta United with their point-at-the-death at home against Orlando City
So, let’s go off the John Strong comment there at the end… Is he right?
Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino:
"“One way to look at it is: we scored a goal in extra time. So, in that sense, it feels good but on the other hand, I think we controlled the game and we had all of the development in the game so, in that sense, it is like a loss.”"
Tito Villalba, who is now getting the “Lion Tamer” nickname in Atlanta United circles:
"“I think it feels like a loss, actually, because we had so many chances to score. We just have to keep working and taking advantage of those opportunities.”"
And, then, there’s the new guy… Goalkeeper Brad Guzan:
"“I was speaking to somebody afterwards and they made a good point. If you look at these games in a playoff sense, on the road and then you come back and play at home back-to-back, you know we’re through to the next round. So, it was important to make sure that we got something from the game especially when you look at the table, so, for us to make sure that we didn’t leave empty-handed was a massive result for us.”"
So… Martino is right. Villalba is right. Guzan is right. And, it’s pronounced “Guh-zohn” by the way… that was one of the first questions asked when the keeper hit town…
Odds And Ends
This is the first go-round with VAR, so anything is possible… expect it…
Lead referee Chris Penso seems to enjoy giving out more cards than whistling fouls before issuing cards. Both sides need to keep an eye on their aggressive defenses because it seems Penso will go to card before believing in “consistent infringement.
Sunday, Aug. 6| Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas| 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Atlanta United (10-7-4, 34 points) vs. Sporting Kansas City (9-4-9, 36 points)
Talent: JP Dellacamera (play-by-play), Ian Joy (analyst) and Rachel Bonnetta (sideline reporter)
English Radio: 92.9 The Game
Talent: Adam Schick (play-by-play) and Jason Longshore (commentator)
Spanish Radio: La Mejor 1600 AM
Talent: Armando Carillo (play-by-play) and Daniel Cantu (commentator)
REFEREE: Chris Penso.
AR1 (bench): Cameron Blanchard; AR2 (opposite): Corey Rockwell;
4th: Sorin Stoica; VAR: Juan Guzman Jr.
So, Dear Reader, what say you? How do you see this one shaking out?
Log in below in the Comments Section and let us know what you think in what, some folks are saying, is a “Match of the Year” Candidate in Major League Soccer.