After the originally scheduled game between Atlanta and Inter Miami was postponed because of the player protests, the anticipated matchup left fans wanting a rematch. The game ended in a scoreless draw, leaving fans disappointed again with the team’s performance, or lack thereof. Fans continue to question whether Atlanta is capable of reaching their prior success.
A RECURRING GAME NARRATIVE
Since the restart, Atlanta United has shown a common pattern in their offense. The Five Stripes dominate the possession battle in most of their games, yet they seem to have difficulty creating scoring opportunities. Against Inter Miami, they controlled the ball 60% of the time, but only managed to take five shots, with only one on target. On the other hand, Inter Miami managed to record ten shots with three on target despite only having 40% of the ball. This narrative has occurred throughout most of the games since the restart. So the question is…what is the problem?
Right after this disappointing performance, it’s clear that the club needed to make some changes. One change is letting go of Pity Martinez. Martinez, who has been with Atlanta United for two years, never fully achieved his potential. He is reported to be signing an $18-million deal with Saudi Arabian club, Al-Nassr.
Martinez is undoubtedly a talented player, but found difficulty achieving his full potential with Atlanta United. He was not able to fill the shoes of Josef Martinez, so it was time to say goodbye. Atlanta United has to look elsewhere to bolster their attack strategy with or without Josef Martinez.
Even though the game ended in a scoreless draw, there are some positive notes. The United has now kept two clean sheets in three games. Little by little, it seems that the defensive issues are showing some progress. The previous game’s loss to Orlando FC was more of a lapse in defensive concentration, but against Inter Miami, it looked like the defense was more focused and determined. This is significant progress for the defense since it is an essential aspect of winning.
Fans of the team are not accustomed to this level of soccer. They expect that the FiveStripes- the best of the best in MLS, always play at a high level. Recent games have left the fans very disappointed and frustrated. However, the team needs everyone’s support now more than ever. Trust in the process, and hopefully, the team will go back to their winning ways.