Tonight, Atlanta United will kick off their second meeting in as many weeks against the Crew. Last time we saw Columbus travel to Bobby Dodd, it was the Five Stripes who took all three points after three goals were more than enough to match Columbus’ one. This time, it’s in Ohio.
- When: Saturday, July 1st – 7:30 ET
- Where: Mapfre Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
- Watch: Fox Sports Southeast
Atlanta United (7-7-3)
We aren’t going to go on and on about how poorly Atlanta United have been on the road recently, we just aren’t. It’s obvious. One point earned in five road matches speaks for itself. However, we’re all about some hot takes here. Tonight it ends. Atlanta will take all three, giving them somewhat of a cushion on the table.
Columbus is a team that likes to play out of the back. Last time we saw these two squads face off, Atlanta’s high press created lots of turnovers that allowed Atlanta to find the net three times. If the Crew doesn’t change up their scheme, it’s gonna be all Atlanta once again.
Though United will be playing two games in four days, Tata allowed many key players to rest during the US Open Cup match on Wednesday. Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, Yamil Asad and others should be rested up and ready to go.
Columbus Crew (8-9-1)
Like Atlanta United, Columbus is a team that thrives in their own house. With a home record of 6-2-1, Columbus Crew is a team that holds their place on the table by winning at home. Tonight, they’ll not only be looking to continue their good home form but they’ll be trying to avenge the poor road form that we saw in Atlanta two weeks ago.
In addition to impressing their home crowd, the Crew are trying to solidify their position on the table. Columbus has 25 points, one more than Atlanta, making them fifth in the Eastern Conference. A win for Columbus would give them a comfortable four point advantage over Atlanta on the table – so expect to see Gregg Berhalter doing anything possible to take all three.
Ola Hamara, Federico Higuain and Justin Meram are three players who can swing the momentum of a match in seconds. While this three-headed monster poses a threat to any MLS back line, it is Higuain who is separating himself from the rest. The 32-year-old has looked similar to his brother, Gonzalo Higuain, recently – scoring goals in each of Columbus’ last four matches.
The last word
The Five Stripes have had a hard time holding the lead on the road. Atlanta has drawn first blood in seven of ten away matches, but have only won two of them. That being said, tonight against Columbus we want to see Atlanta hold the lead. Not only do we want to see it, we need to see it. Atlanta needs to improve their road form if they want to make the playoffs, so let’s hope tonight will be the first of some positive road results moving forward.