Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact: Week 22 Preview

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Tata Martino screams orders from the sideline. Credit: Adam Hagy, goal.com

Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact: Match Preview

Where: Stade Saputo in Montreal

When: July 28, 7:00 pm ET

Where to watch: TVAS, ESPN+, FOX Sports Southeast, FOX Sports GO (streaming)

Player status update: Barco- Out (suspension), Nagbe- Out (Injury), Garza- Out (Injury)

The more you know…

Our Atlanta United come into this juicy MLS week 22 matchup sitting atop the Supporters Shield Standings with a record of 13-4-5. Fresh off of a beautiful beat-down at home vs. DC United and the shell of a man once known as Wayne Rooney, our five stripes head across the northern border to face The Montreal Impact. Our squad has shown the ability to consistently find points on the road this season, and consequently have the best away record in MLS this season. They have a chance to further solidify this road form vs. Montreal as they shoot for the all-time record of away points in an MLS season (which is currently owned by the Seattle Sounders). Montreal is currently sitting at fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, with a record of 9-12-1. However, that number can be deceiving as to how good the Canadian club has been playing. Montreal is actually on a fiery run of form as of late, a lot of that having to do with many of their players returning from injury. When Montreal came to Atlanta earlier this season, they had a handful of starters injured, namely at center-back which forced them to play people out of their natural position, and overcompensate by parking the bus. Since then, they have had time to heal and they are actually playing what looks like real soccer now, nice.

Keys to the match:

1. Stop Nacho Piatti at ALL COSTS! If there is one guy on this team that can single-handedly beat us it is Piatti. He is electric, yet smooth on the ball, he can beat a 2 v 1, and he can shoot from just about anywhere…. Yikes! Luckily, he doesn’t have many teammates providing much help in the attack, so it looks more like a one man show. If you stop Piatti and stay organized, it’s a clean sheet waiting to happen!

2. Don’t let Saphir Taider have a good match! Saphir Taider, if you don’t remember is the player who BURNED us for the opening goal of the game in Atlanta off of a throw in. What you may not know about him though is that he is low-key one of the better box-to-box midfielders in MLS. He does a good job of connecting the defense to Nacho Piatti on a regular basis, which is NOT GOOD. Our midfielders will have to do a good job of keeping possesion and bossing the middle of the pitch so Taider can’t do his job, and when he has the ball we MUST not give him space.

3. Score s’more GOALLLSSSSSSSS! Josef, just be Josef. But seriously, everybody else, HELP HIM OUT ALREADY! Josef does a wonderful job, and scores a goal a game, but WE NEED A SECONDARY SCORER! Miggy, Tito, I’m talking to you. Help your boy out! Please.

Staff Score Predictions:

Dalton Gore: 3-1 Atlanta (Carleton scores his first goal!)

Kyle Soto: 3-1 Atlanta (Great minds think alike, eh?)

Drew Hubbard: 2-1 Atlanta

Dakota the dog: bark-bark (wow, hot take right?)

 

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