The Five Stripes steal a point at Yankee and the season comeback begins... right?
Atlanta United came away with a point after drawing 2-2 with MLS Champs New York City FC in a hard-fought affair.
In all honesty, the game was not a fun one to watch at all. Atlanta's defensive mistakes showed from the very first minute and just never really managed to cope with NYCFC's high pressing. A failed offside trap by Alan Franco and George Campbell led to Taty Castellanos getting on a ball played deep that he put away in true Golden-Boot style to open the score in the hosts' favor 1-0.
The action continued in the second half when Thiago Almada lobbed the ball into the box to find Josef Martínez who headed it past Atlanta native Sean Johnson to tie the game at 1-1. The tie wouldn't last for long, however, as the Five Stripes' disorganized defense allowed Talles Magno to find an unmarked Taty Castellanos on the edge of the six who fired it past Rocco Ríos Novo to put NYCFC in front 2-1.
Just when it looked like Atlanta was going to suffer a 2-1 loss for the 3rd game in a row, Ronaldo Cisneros found Dom Dwyer in the box to equalize with just four minutes left on the clock.
This match marked the first time that all three of Atlanta's designated players (Almada, Araújo, and Martínez) start a game this season. Despite this, there were many chances that Atlanta absolutely should've put in. A couple of shots by Josef Martínez and Marcelino Moreno that were either very soft or just completely off target were examples of some of the opportunities that could have helped Atlanta come away with three points.
However, this game also highlights something that has been constant throughout much of this season - the shaky back line. Both center backs today did not have good games as they were constantly missing their marks on some of NYCFC's attacking players. Both goals were a result of lost marks on Taty Castellanos and very lethargic movements when tracking back. One of those center backs is likely going to lose their starting spot as Tigres' Juan Jose Purata makes his debut against Austin FC on Saturday. With the transfer window opening, there is a good chance that the team's defense sees further changes, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Atlanta United will return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their next game against Austin FC on Saturday, July 9th at 7:00 PM.