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Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 12

Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta
May 20 - 7:00 pm ET

It is a top-of-the-table showdown in Atlanta Sunday afternoon with the Five Stripes, who have won four of their last five games, hosting the New York Red Bulls, who have three consecutive wins and victories in four of their last five in league play.

Atlanta bounced back from their first loss since a 4-0 drubbing in Week 1 at Houston to defeat Orlando City SC last Sunday evening, while the Red Bulls also won away from home — their second straight — to knock off the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, last Saturday night.

Atlanta United

Tata Martino altered his team’s shape, going with a 3-4-2-1 formation, and his backline from the squad that fell to Sporting Kansas City midweek. The biggest change was forced on the coach, with Alec Kann starting in goal for the suspended Brad Guzan.

Josef Martinez opened the scoring in a fiery clash with the Lions with his league-leading eighth of the season from the penalty spot and then Ezequiel Barco doubled the lead for Atlanta (8-2-1) with his second MLS goal in the 31st minute.

Justin Meram pulled Orlando City SC within a goal in the 57th minute, but that would be as close as the hosts would get as the Five Stripes picked up their fourth road win of the season, matching their 2017 total.

“It’s very important, especially in a league where winning on the road is so difficult,” Martino said after the match. “I think it’s really important and I think we’re deserving of it, and even more so coming off of a loss at home on Wednesday.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Chris McCann, D - Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Franco Escobar (abdominal injury), D - Chris McCann (left lower extremity injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Jose Hernandez (quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Sal Zizzo, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez, Greg Garza— Jeff Larentowicz, Darlington Nagbe — Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba — Josef Martinez

  • Notes: All six of Miguel Almirón’s goals this season have come in the final 30 minutes of matches. No other player has more than three in that window. … Atlanta’s last home game against Sporting Kansas City, was the first time Atlanta was held scoreless at home.

New York Red Bulls

Jesse Marsch went with an unchanged starting XI from the side that crushed rival NYCFC, 4-0, the previous week at Red Bull Arena and for a third straight game, New York (6-3-0) scored in the opening 10 minutes with Danny Royer tapping in a pass from Bradley Wright-Phillips in the fifth minute.

Derrick Etienne Jr. then came off the bench to net his third goal of the season in the 76th minute following Video Review after the goal was initially waved off for offside to make sure Jack McBean’s goal five minutes from full time was only cosmetic.

And now it’s on to another big challenge for a team that continues to answer the bell when the lights are brightest.

“This will be unique, that crowd, that stadium, the noise, everything will be fun,” Marsch said after training Tuesday. “I think that our guys have shown that in big games that they enjoy those moments, they enjoy the pressure, they enjoy going up against a good opponent. I expect us to rise to the challenge, but we will go after it that much I know about this group that we will go after it.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL), GK - Luis Robles (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Connor Lade (ankle sprain), M - Marc Rzatkowski (calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Ryan Meara — Michael Murillo, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence — Sean Davis, Tyler Adams — Florian Valot, Kaku, Danny Royer — Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • Notes: Kaku is averaging 0.9 assists per game this season (seven assists in eight appearances), the most of any MLS player with multiple appearances this year. … New York enters this game on a three-game winning streak, including two wins on the road. They have outscored opponents 9-3 during this streak.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Atlanta United 0 wins, 1 goal … New York Red Bulls 1 win, 2 goals … 1 tie
  • At Atlanta: Atlanta United 0 wins, 1 goal … New York Red Bulls 1 win, 2 goals … 0 ties
  • Last meeting at Atlanta: Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 2 (March 5, 2017)


Referee: Christopher Penso
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Mark Geiger

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NY Red Bulls

Season Stats

Atlanta United FCNew York Red Bulls
11Games Played9
13Goals Conceded11
56Shots on Target63
116Fouls committed92
117Fouls suffered98

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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