Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers Prediction & Preview
Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers 2018-12-09 MLS,
Photo credit to Atlanta United via Twitter
Atlanta United Destroy The New York Red Bulls
Atlanta United destroyed the New York Red Bulls to take a big advantage into the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Final. The Five Stripes marched to a convincing 3-0 win over the Supporters’ Shield Winners. This leaves little doubt about who will represent the East and host the 2018 MLS Cup Final.
Josef Martinez, Franco Escobar, and Hector Villalba got on the scoresheet in the convincing win over New York. Perhaps bigger than any of their goals, Bradley Wright-Phillips had a goal disallowed by VAR early in the second half. It was determined that Alex Muyl was blocking Brad Guzan’s eyesight from an offside position and the goal was taken off the board. This was a huge blow to New York and shaped the outcome of the first leg.
Top Scorers vs Best Back Line
Atlanta United were the big hitters in the regular season scoring 70 goals, but the back line of the Red Bulls only let in 33 goals, boasting the best defensive record. Something had to give here and the Red Bulls’ back four fell apart. For whatever reason, Chris Armas abandoned the club’s pressing style that earned them the most points in MLS Regular Season history. They dropped off and allowed pressure from Atlanta’s attack which doomed them from the start.
Second Leg Outlook
The Red Bulls will need to replicate their second leg effort against the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference Semifinal. And this will just be to force extra time. It will not be an easy challenge but I’m betting they do not go down without a fight. Atlanta has been kept off the scoreboard only three times this season, but one of the blanks came against the Red Bulls. It will be one to keep your eyes on. The second leg takes place Thursday November 29th, at 7:30 pm.