Atlanta United vs. New York City FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 7
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta
6 pm ET – April 15, 2018

Two of the top teams in MLS clash on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when undefeated New York City FC takes on white-hot Atlanta United in a mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash.

This is the third all-time meeting between the sides, with each claiming a 3-1 win at home.

Atlanta United

With four consecutive victories, including three at the friendly confines of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, perhaps no team is playing better at this moment than Atlanta United. Following a 5-0 thrashing of expansion side LAFC Saturday, the Five Stripes have outscored opponents, 12-1, at home this year.

Miguel Almiron had the rare penalty kick brace and Julian GresselJosef Martinez and Romario Williams added one goal apiece as Atlanta struck for four goals in the final 23 minutes for the decisive victory.

Gressel and Michael Parkhurst were named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 6.

Martinez had an injury scare on Wednesday when he left training with his left arm in an aircast after colliding with a teammate during a finishing drill. But he returned to training on Thursday and should be available for a juicy showdown with NYCFC.

“For sure we’ll be up for it because they’re one of the best teams in the league,” Parkhurst said. “Right now they’re right at the top and they have been for the last few years, so we definitely know it will be a challenging game.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D – Franco Escobar (head injury), D – Jose Hernandez (quad strain), GK – Mitch Hildebrandt (left knee sprain), D – Greg Garza (right shoulder); QUESTIONABLE: M – Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4–1-2, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Chris McCann — Mikey Ambrose, Jeff Larentowicz, Darlington Nagbe, Julian Gressel — Miguel Almiron — Hector Villalba, Josef Martinez

  • Notes: Atlanta enter this weekend tied for the league lead in set piece goals with five. Three teams have yet to score five goals this season (Seattle, Toronto and Philadelphia). … Atlanta’s 5-0 win over LAFC last weekend was the eighth time they have scored 4+ goals in a match since joining MLS, the second-most by any team.

New York City FC

In what some are calling their best performance to date, New York City FC (5-0-1) put their foot on the gas early against Real Salt Lake and didn’t relent in a thorough 4-0 victory Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC, who now have 16 out of a maximum 18 points, had four goals from guys not named David Villa, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Maxi Moralez adding to their accounts and Jo Inge Berget and Ebenezer Ofori opening theirs in NYCFC’s first-ever win over RSL.

Now they face their stiffest challenge in 2018, an in-form and confident Atlanta United squad who are unbeaten at home.

“I think most importantly for us – every game is a different challenge,” goalkeeper Sean Johnsonsaid. “We have a group of players that are very driven, very focused, very hungry – I think hungry is the best word to describe this group. Every game, we know we have to go in and put on a performance. When we get a result, we analyze it – both the good and bad. We work on things throughout the week and then our focus shifts to the next game. We don’t really think in the past – that’s been our key to success over this stretch – it’s really just focusing on the task at hand and then after the task just focus on the next one.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D/M – Kwame Awuah (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Alex Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera — Jesus Medina, Maxi Moralez, Rodney Wallace — David Villa

  • Notes: NYCFC has scored seven goals in the 15 minutes on either side of halftime. No other team has more than four goals in that 30-minute span. … NYCFC has lost just one of their last nine road games. They have allowed multiple goals away from home just once over this span.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Atlanta United FC 1 win, 4 goals … New York City FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 0
  • At Atlanta: Atlanta United FC 1 win, 3 goals … NYCFC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at AtlantaAtlanta United FC 3, NYCFC 1 (May 28, 2017)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr