On November 25 at 5 pm Atlanta United hosts The New York Red Bulls in Leg 1 of the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference. The match at Mercedes Benz-Stadium is highly anticipated, because Atlanta United (21-7-6, 69 points), the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, has yet to beat top seed New York Red Bulls (22-7-5, 71 points), who defeated Atlanta United 3-1 in the May 20th match.
“They’re the type of team that like to get in your face and press you,” Brad Guzan, goalkeeper for Atlanta United said.
During the match VAR caused a controversy when Martinez was carded a foul, but Guzan admitted they were sloppy with the ball, “There were too many careless passes and bad touches.” The club just simply wasn’t good enough to defeat the aggressive and polished play of the New York Red Bulls.
Now staring down an MLS championship cup Atlanta United looks like a much different club. Midfielder Miguel Almiron and striker Josef Martinez, both named 2018 MLS Best XI, have perfected their rhythm combined with Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and defender Michael Parkhurst holding down the back end, Atlanta United has rounded out an incredible squad.
But there are rumblings as to whether Atlanta United can successfully come up against the finesse of forward Bradley Wright- Phillips. There are also defenders Kemar Lawrence and Aaron Long who were both named 2018 MLS Best XI.
The New York Red Bulls defeated Columbus Crew 3-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference, a team Atlanta United also defeated 3-1 in August.
Atlanta United has to do more than just fend off the New York Red Bulls. The key to winning this match will be to create enough opportunities to score in the first and second half with smooth, but aggressive plays and tight passes.