2. Does Atlanta have the depth required for a playoff run?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Atlanta is battling some injury issues (more on that later). However, they’re doing a great job of overcoming said injuries through the first two games of the playoffs.
No Almiron in the second half of the first match? No problem, the defense held up their end and kept the scoresheet clean after taking the lead. No Jeff Larentowicz in the second match? No problem, Atlanta has second-year pro, Miles Robinson. Wait, who?
Yes, that Miles Robinson. The same Miles Robinson that made zero appearances during the 2017 season and just 10 this season for a grand total of 272 minutes. Robinson’s start in the second leg was his first appearance in a match since September 22, when he logged two minutes against Real Salt Lake. Sunday marked the first time Robinson put in more than seven minutes in a single game since May 20.
Robinson starting on Sunday illustrates the answer to this question perfectly. Atlanta is a team that does a lot of running. They press, they counter-attack, they quickly track back on defense. That constant movement obviously takes a toll on the players, so depth is an important part of making a run at the MLS Cup.
This series showed Atlanta does have the depth in the event their important players pick up an injury. Now that depth will serve the team well as it surely has a tough and physical road remaining in the rest of the playoffs.