Atlanta United: 5 things learned in blowout loss to Houston Dynamo

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Atlanta United returned to action for the first time since October to a 4-0 blowout loss in Houston. See what we learned from the first week of action.

Atlanta United was heavily touted as top competition heading into the 2018 season. Their performance on Saturday was anything but. The backline was in shambles throughout the match, the goalkeeping was shaky at best, and the attack was completely absent. Despite going a full season without looking like an expansion team, Atlanta managed to do it in the first game of their sophomore season.

Here are five things we learned.

5. Atlanta’s backline needs some serious work

The Five Stripes managed to go thirty seven games in their inaugural season across all competitions without giving up more than three goals in a single game. After one half in 2018, Atlanta had yielded four.

Heading into the season, most people expected the defensive midfield to struggle. On Saturday, it was mostly the backline. Offseason signing Franco Escobar was quick on the ball but looked lost through most of the match at right back. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, who is easily Atlanta’s best defender, made costly mistakes of his own. Darlington Nagbe was virtually nonexistent in his Five Stripes debut.

Not only does manager Tata Martino have to figure out the defensive situation before next week, but he may have to do it without an important part of the team.

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