If not for Brad Guzan in goal it would have been a much different result for the Five Stripes at the old ball game. Here are the player ratings from the 1-1 draw between Atlanta United and New York City FC.
Brad Guzan. Man of the match. A franchise-record nine saves while facing 25 New York City FC shots. He was unlucky on the lone goal he allowed and keeps Atlanta United at the top of the table. A truly brilliant performance.
Atlanta weathered the warm temperatures and small pitch of Yankee Stadium to earn a huge point on the road Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. Guzan made highlight-reel save after save to secure the point after Josef Martinez nodded in a Julian Gressel cross to push Atlanta ahead in the early minutes of the second half.
NYCFC pounded shot after shot hitting numerous posts along with being denied by “Mr Clean Sheet” during the match. The Pigeons turned in a corner kick at the 77th minute to answer the Five Stripes and created some real drama over the final minutes of play.
Atlanta enjoyed the support of a large group of traveling fans who took the opportunity to sing “Take me out to the ballgame” to remind the NYCFC fans that they play in a baseball stadium. Classic supporter’s group stadium banter.
Was this the last game in charge for NYCFC boss Patrick Viera? These two sides will meet again as MLS Cup playoffs roll around this fall.
Here are the player ratings from the dramatic 1-1 draw.
Atlanta United Player Reviews:
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan
Incredible stuff this afternoon from the big man. Solid on all balls flighted into the box and stood up tall against David Villa shots on a couple of occasions. Game to game, Guzan is the best player for the Five Stripes.
Defenders: Michael Parkhurst; Leandro Gonzalez-Pires; Franco Escobar
This trio dealt with heavy pressure all game and did the solid work in-front of Guzan to cover the midfield mistakes.
Wing backs: Julian Gressel; Mikey Ambrose
Gressel made one solid service into the box during the game and picked up the assist. Other than that one play they were both pinned deep and struggling in possession, passing, and linking play the entire match.
Midfielders: Jeff Larentowicz; Darlington Nagbe; Miguel Almiron
Almiron took a hard fall in the early minutes and was subbed at the half. Atlanta struggled in the midfield all game long and could not keep possession or provide an outlet for the Atlanta defense under constant siege. An average performance from this group today.
Forwards: Ezequiel Barco; Josef Martinez
Martinez with another goal to stay atop the Golden Boot charts while Barco continues to show his adjustment to MLS is still a work in progress. Barco had moments of one-touch brilliance linking passes with Almiron and Martinez while other times he dribbled into hard tackles or carelessly lost the ball with stray passes in dangerous pockets of space.
Substitutes: Romario Williams; Kevin Kratz; Sal Zizzo
Romario stepped up top when Almiron subbed out at the half but he did not have a huge impact holding the ball up or stretching the NYCFC backline mostly due to the lack of quality in the Atlanta midfield today. Kevin Kratz helped settle the midfield as he took over for Barco in the 66th minute. Zizzo worked the final 10 minutes of the match and did his job with no errors replacing a tired Escobar at back.