Atlanta United: 2020 Preview – A second MLS Cup?

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MLS, Atlanta United

ATLANTA, GA OCTOBER 06: Atlanta’s Leandro González Pirez (5) congratulates Darlington Nagbe (6) after Nagbe scored a first-half goal during the MLS match between the New England Revolution and Atlanta United FC on October 6th, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With less than a month to go until the start of the 2020 MLS campaign, we are taking a look at how each team has evolved since last year and their chances this term. This time, we look at Atlanta United.

Last season, Atlanta United finished in second place in the Eastern Conference in their defence of the crown they won in 2018. They comfortably made it to the playoffs, albeit missing out on the chance to top the East for the second year in a row.

In the playoffs, they got past the New England Revolution by a single goal in the first round, before then overcoming the Philadelphia Union, another of the sides who could have finished top of the East. However, the postseason came to an end in the Conference Finals when they lost to Toronto FC.

Related Story: Atlanta United: Best-rated starting XI of 2019

Atlanta did take some silverware over the course of the term as they defeated Minnesota United to lift the U.S. Open Cup in the summer, qualifying for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League in the process.

It will be their second appearance in the international competition, having also featured in 2019, but they were knocked out in the quarter-finals this time around, losing to the eventual winners, Monterrey, 3-1 on aggregate.

Atlanta United, Josef Martinez

ATLANTA, GA JUNE 01: Atlanta’s Josef Martinez (7) strikes a pose after scoring a first half goal during the MLS match between the Chicago Fire and Atlanta United FC on June 1st, 2019 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Best Performers

Unsurprisingly, their best performer last season was Josef Martinez, who scored 27 goals in 29 games, including breaking the MLS record for scoring in the most consecutive games as he bagged a goal in a remarkable 15-straight games.

Several other players impressed for Atlanta United, including youngsters Ezequiel Barco and Miles Robinson, who are forging key roles in the team when fit and available. Robinson, in fact, featured in all 34 regular-season games before an injury unfortunately put pay to his chances of appearing in the postseason for the club.

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