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These are two sides who aren’t in great form currently and have been troubled by injury all season.
Atlanta United are struggling to field a team and New England Revolution, who led the Eastern Conference by some distance last season with 73 points, has been unrecognizable this season. The two sides have met each other nine times in total with Atlanta United coming out on top five times to New England Revolution’s two.
They’ve also drawn twice but interestingly, New England Revolution’s two victories came in their more recent encounters, the last of which was in July.
Atlanta United’s season has been derailed because of an unprecedented injury crisis but that didn’t stop them from enjoying their best win of the season a few days back and keeping a place in the top 7 of the Eastern Conference standings.
New England Revolution were expected to have a drop off from last season but not like this. There are so many factors that have led to this but it’s still remarkable to see a side that had a record points tally of 73 end up in 11th place with a negative goal differential as things stand.
New England Revolution just can’t seem to get going but with Miles Robinson suffering an injury, it’s hard to see Atlanta United not being adversely affected heading into this tie despite playing at home. For all of the New England Revolution’s troubles, and there are many, Atlanta United’s troubles are greater.
Atlanta United enjoyed their best win of the season in their last league tie against the Chicago Fire and will be hoping they can do more of the same when they face New England Revolution on Saturday at . The Five Stripes won the match 4-1 in a dominant display, which included a hat-trick from Ronaldo Cisneros.
The forward was having a frustrating campaign up until this point but made sure that it was behind him for now with three finely taken strikes. The poacher isn’t a playmaker or the type to create his own shots but his movement and sense in front of goal has always been top notch. When the service is there, Cisneros will deliver.
Atlanta United currently sit in seventh place with 14 points on the board. The Eastern Conference table is still taking shape and they’ll be fairly content with their position but the bad news just doesn’t stop for the side.
25-year-old USMNT center-back, Miles Robinson, was the latest casualty in a bizarre injury crisis for Atlanta United.
Manager, Gonzalo Pineda, had this to say after the win over the Chicago Fire:
I have never seen something this bad. I would say in terms of injuries, I have had some years, whether I was a player or a coach in Seattle, where we had a couple of long-term injuries as well, but nothing like this, especially not in the first 10 games of the season.
They’ve already lost goalkeepers, Brad Guzan and Dylan Castanheira, to ruptured Achilles tendons. It doesn’t end there, unfortunately. Forward, Josef Martinez needs to have surgery while Cuban midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso, has torn his ACL.
Santiago Sosa, Franco Ibarra, George Campbell, Alan Franco have been available in large parts due to fitness concerns and Caleb Wiley will be out in the next game because of an ankle injury.
Many of the names mentioned here will take no further part in the season. Pineda went on to add that this was a case of bad luck and that they’re doing their best to check if there’s something larger at play at the club but stated that this is most definitely not the case.
He went on to defend the club’s medical and sports science department. He reiterated that the same people were in charge last season and there’s no use in pointing the finger at them but checks are being made.
It’s not hard to break down what’s gone wrong for New England Revolution this season because they’ve definitely had a lot of mitigating circumstances. Polish international Adam Buksa, and Gustavo Bou weren’t available for the early part of the season. Along with that, the starting center-back pairing of Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell, were also out for some time.
Goalkeeper, Matt Turner, was also unavailable because of a foot injury. They’ve also lost Tajon Buchanan, the Canadian international, to Club Brugge.
But other than that, they also had a massive over-performance last season and a regression to the mean was always likely. You add the injuries and unavailability of certain important players into the mix and it gets worse. The one important player that has been available for the most part in Carles Gil is still doing well, so some things don’t really change.
Last season’s most valuable player has already scored three goals and racked up three assists. Buksa’s scored four since coming back and was on the scoresheet in the last game against Columbus Crew. Get the gang back and things will look better. They need Buksa for their cross-heavy game and it doesn’t work if all of them aren’t around.
Earlier in the season, they were also on the receiving end of a lot of late winners. The injuries might have needed a change in set-up but Bruce Arena didn’t seem to adapt to that. New England Revolution were still trying to play their game from last season and conceding easy counter-attacking opportunities.
They can take some solace in having put a little stop to their losing streak from earlier in the season. They haven’t lost their last two games and need to take advantage of Atlanta United’s injury crises just like the other sides took advantage of theirs earlier in the season. New England Revolution aren’t going to be the team from last season.
They aren’t going to close but they can still be better than they currently are and a win against Atlanta United will help in their road to recovery. If they don’t win this game, the crisis might be bigger than anticipated.
New England Revolution have no injury concerns at the moment or suspensions to worry about unlike their opponents on Saturday. This should give them a massive advantage heading into this tie.
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|Atlanta United vs New England Revolution
|Atlanta United vs New England Revolution
|Sunday, May 15 at 1:30 pm EST
|How to watch
|ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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