With the mini All-Star break upon us, I take a look at where Atlanta United stands before the final stretch of the 2018 MLS season begins.
The current numbers
Supporter’s Shield standings: 1st place, 47 points
Conference standings: 1st place, 47 points
US Open Cup placement: Round of 16
PPG: 2.04 (best in MLS)
Goals scored: 48 (best in MLS)
Goals allowed: 26 (5th in MLS)
Goal difference: 22 (best in MLS)
On paper, things are going extremely well for Atlanta United. They are first in the Supporters Shield standings, four points clear of NYCFC in second. They are the only team currently above two PPG and are on pace to finish the season with 69 points, which would tie Toronto FC for record points in a season. The Five Stripes are also tops in the league in goals scored and goal difference, and are fifth in goals allowed.
If there’s one disappointing aspect to the team’s season so far, it’s their 1-0 home loss to Chicago Fire in the US Open Cup round of 16. It is the second year in a row the team has lost in the round of 16. If Atlanta can grab the Supporters Shield or win the MLS Cup, then the Open Cup loss won’t matter much. However, the Open Cup is an opportunity to win some silverware, and Atlanta won’t get it this year.