It's finally over. Now, we look to next year.
Atlanta United's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad season came to a sour end after a home loss to defending MLS Cup champion New York City FC.
The loss was the epitome of this season for Atlanta United - lifeless, uninspired and a total mess. Even though it was clear before the game that the playoffs were out of reach regardless, it was still a very poor showing for the nearly 42,000 fans in attendance.
The starting lineup featured a couple of changes from last week but retained the same shape. Rossetto was slotted into midfield for Sosa, who received a three-match ban for the use of a homophobic slur in last week's match at New England, Mosquera started on the wing and Dwyer started at striker over Cisneros. This once again left club legend Josef Martinez on the bench.
Despite already securing a playoff spot, it was NYCFC that came out of the gate swinging. They dictated the tempo for most of the match and their passing was a true masterpiece. It took just nine minutes for them to get themselves on the board after a well-placed through pass from Talles Magno found Gabriel Periera in the box to slot it home and give the Pigeons a 1-0 lead.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 60th minute when a corner kick delivery found a completely unmarked Heber about four yards from goal. With just 30 minutes left, NYCFC now found themselves ahead 2-0.
The Five Stripes looked better going forward when Josef Martinez subbed on and they managed to pull one back when a fantastic lofted ball found Andrew Gutman who pushed it home to make it a 2-1 game.
Despite Atlanta's repeated efforts, it just wouldn't pan out for them and the final whistle blew to close out a very forgettable season.
The locker room mood after the game was as somber as one would imagine closing the season as they did. Josef Martinez refused to talk to media saying "Carlos [Bocanegra] is over there, Gonzalo [Pineda] is over there. Go talk to them."
Needless to say, there is going to be some serious change. There needs to be if this club intends to return to its former glory.
Now the next step is for Atlanta United to find the right president to steer the club back in the right direction. There may be many moves that Atlanta United needs to make this offseason, but this is the most crucial one. They absolutely can't miss with this signing.
It's been a pleasure covering Atlanta United this season and I appreciate all of you that read these posts. You could get your information from other sources (and you probably do), but it means the world to me when I see that more and more people are visiting the site regularly. I'll try to keep posting relevant content over the offseason and I'll also be writing for Dirty South Soccer, so keep an eye out for anything that goes up over there.
I wish all of you the best and look forward to a better season next year!