Off the top let me just say I’m sick of Bobby Dodd Stadium. Sick of it. The only thing worse than playing on a narrow ass field was Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (LGP) yesterday.
I rewatched the game tonight for a couple of reasons:
- I couldn’t really figure out what the hell went wrong.
- I wanted to confirm LGP was as bad as I thought. (HINT: he was worse)
- I wanted to see the Asad elbow on Sam
Here are my thoughts…
LGP single candidly cost ATL the game. On the first goal it was his effort to be cute and cushion a header to himself that let Naegle in unchallenged. Do not forget that EVERYTHING was going our way until this point with a second goal likely. On the third goal he was out of position and completely stationary. His passing percentage over 10 yards had to be in the single digits. For someone who could arguably be our best player thus far this season this his worst performance by a mile.
Gressel was trash. He didn’t touch the ball until the 13th minute. As a center midfielder…Acosta absolutely destroyed JG. At times it almost looked like he was given the task of man marking Acosta as they were often in the same space. After a hot start he has cooled off tremendously.
Hector Villalba had a GREAT game. I’ve been extremely critical of Villalba and his absolute lack of vision. Yes he should have scored within the first 5 minutes on two separate occasions but he put the first on target and Hamid just made a great save. The second he just needed to chip the ball and it was a can’t miss goal. Again, back to his vision problem. And YES he could have done better with the he and Kenwyne 2 v 1 in the second half but he was everywhere. Stinging Hamid’s gloves on multiple occasions from different spots on the field. Challenging constantly. He’s young and very talented. The future is bright.
Almiron is too honest. Several times his balance and ability to stay on his feet prevented tackles warranting a yellow card, fouls in dangerous positions and on one occasion an admittidly very marginal call for a penalty. Love him to pieces and this is not a criticism, more of an observation.
Asad will be suspended for his elbow on Sam. It was totally unnecessary and dirty. Thankfully he didn’t catch him cleanly or this could be a lengthy suspension. I’m thinking 1 game but wouldn’t be shocked with 3. He’s too good to do shit like that.
Kann was OK. I think he could have done more on Le Toux’s goal. Granted he was 1 v 1 but Le Toux took an extra touch and Kann didn’t react to smother or close the distance with the ball under Le Toux’s feet.
Depth – Our depth is frightening. We really missed Larentowicz which is a sentence I never thought I’d type. Where was the impact off the bench? I actually really liked Vasquez’s 20 minutes. Kratz was OK. McCann didn’t do anything in a few minutes. To be fair it’s not as if many teams have impact off the bench.
Jones – This one is tough for me. He took his goal well. There have been 4-5 occasions this season when he was standing ready for a tap in and just didn’t get the service BUT I simply don’t think we use him well. He wins every ball in the air. He doesn’t have pace. Yet we still play as if Martinez is out there flying around.
Mears, Parkhurts and Garza were OK. Tough game overall but I think the result was harsh. The reality is, ATL had 70% possession and 20 shots. I think we’ll be just fine. Until next game, this one stings.