1. Eric Remedi
The first-leg victory might have been Atlanta’s best team victory of the season. But in that team win, one individual stood out above the rest.
Eric Remedi helped Atlanta to a clean sheet on the road, their first since September 15 against a weak Colorado Rapids side. Remedi excelled when Atlanta played a defensive-minded game, so how can he adjust to a more attacking style? It would be shocking if Atlanta stuck to the defensive game plan the team employed at Yankee Stadium.
Assuming that Martino flips the approach to be more attack-minded, it will be interesting to see how Remedi performs. Towards the end of the season, it seemed as though Remedi was allowing too much space in the middle of the pitch because he was pushing so high in the attack. When he left space in the middle, other teams would exploit that space and find the back of the net.
Those midfield mistakes were very apparent on Chicago’s lone goal on October 21 and a couple of Toronto’s goals on October 28. Part of Remedi’s mistakes was because Almiron was not playing. Almiron’s ability to track back on defense cannot be understated, and he may have been picking up some of Remedi’s slack. We just never noticed until Almiron was missing with injury.
With the possibility of Almiron only playing a part of the game, and the possibility that Atlanta will attack for most of this weekend’s game, it will be important for Remedi to not make some of those mistakes from the end of the regular season. The team cannot afford to ship multiple goals on Sunday, as that will give New York an advantage in the away goals category.
After all, Remedi worked very hard to give Atlanta the away goal advantage and it would be disappointing if he were the reason that advantage became void.