ATLANTA, GA – Atlanta United will face-off against the Philadelphia Union tonight in the Eastern Conference semifinal match at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The 5 Stripes secured their spot in the semi-finals after a 1-0 win over New England Revolution. In a tough match up, against New England Coach De Boer made formation adjustments in the second half of this game, which we maybe similar strategy utilize tonight against Union.
Josef Martinez will be a major factor for the United in this post season, he is their main scorer. Recently, Josef won the goal of the year award, which is his second time winning this award in 3 years. This year’s award was based on a score finish against FC Cincinnati, which was nothing less than sensational. Martinez would flick the ball over Cincinnati’s Nick Hagglund with the back of his heel. This is one of many accomplishments by Martinez, as he has set a record of scoring goals in 15 consecutive games. Josef Martinez returned from an injury that he sustained from colliding with team mate Pity Martinez.
Martinez came back from his injury in the regular season game against New England Revolution, where they would win 3-1. Josef Martinez will have to be cautious tonight was he picked up a yellow card in the first playoff game. If were to pick up a second yellow card tonight, he could be suspended from the Eastern Conference finals should Atlanta win tonight.
Atlanta United will also need Midfielder Julian Gressel if they plan to put the pedal to the medal and play fast paced against Philadelphia. Gressel is very impactful offensively, as he has shown that he could play at the wing. The Union has struggled defensively against faced paced teams and often shown fatigue, which is an advantage for Atlanta. Coach Frank De Boer could possibly make the call to shift Atlanta’s formation to a 4-2-3-1. With this formation we could see Tito Villalba and Julian Gressel on the wings pushing the ball forward.
We could also see Coach Frank De Boer interchange Barco and Pity this game as he will need to utilize them both to keep up a fast paced attack. Pity is still playing as a reserve player. The United will have to minimize mistakes tonight and be offensively sound. Tonight we will see both teams leave it all on the field for a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Written by Marcus Jones