2. Barco looking strong
Despite the huge injury blow to Atlanta United, the attack is actually looking somewhat effective. More specifically, Ezequiel Barco is looking strong to start 2020. His relationship with Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martinez has improved from last season and his first goal of the season was full of confidence as he hit an impressive shot from outside the box to put Atlanta ahead early.
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For Barco, it was important to score early in the season. He took a similar route last season, scoring four goals in Atlanta’s first eight games before leaving to play in the U20 World Cup with Argentina. Unfortunately, leaving for the tournament derailed Barco’s strong form to start the season. When he rejoined the club, he picked up a knee injury and never quite regained that impressive form from early in 2019.
With Martinez now done for the season, Barco must help carry the attacking load for the Five Stripes moving forward. Between his opening goal and Emerson Hyndman’s wonderful volley, the attack did enough to beat expansion side Nashville. For Atlanta, the opposition will only be tougher and tougher as 2020 progresses.
Other players, including Pity Martinez, Adam Jahn, and any of the team’s many wingers, will have to help score goals without Josef Martinez. So far, Barco is off to a good start. Ideally, those other players will join him in scoring this year’s goals.