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Same Ole Atlanta United 2021


lethalweapon3

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Friday Night Smackdown! You jabronis can go watch Atlanta United try to break their 3-goals-in-7-games scoring drought at Orlando City SC tonight (8 PM Eastern, ESPN) if you wish. But if you tune in on Friday or Monday nights to the prime-time, squared circle broadcasts, you'll find yet another example of why The ATL can boast of the hardest working broadcasters in sports (entertainment)!

https://heelbynature.com/wrestling-news/kevin-egan-joins-wwe-broadcast-team-now-known-as-kevin-patrick/

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[March 2021] Sports broadcaster Kevin Egan has joined the WWE broadcast team under the name ‚ÄúKevin Patrick‚ÄĚ.

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By far, this has been the most interesting development of Atlanta's whole season! (Watch your back for those steel chairs, Kevin.)

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[WWE.com] ‚ÄúI‚Äôm beyond thrilled to join WWE,‚ÄĚ said Kevin Patrick.¬† ‚ÄúI‚Äôve always been blown away by the incredible charisma and athleticism of the WWE Superstars, and I‚Äôm excited at the opportunity to help tell their stories.‚ÄĚ

As a studio host, play-by-play commentator and reporter, Patrick has been fortunate to travel the world combining his love of sports, broadcasting and entertainment. You’ll currently find him broadcasting for CNN International and Atlanta United matches on [Bally] Sports, as well as hosting for SiriusXM FC.

 

It's Still Real to Me! Let's Go United!

~lw3

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Bring back The Golden Child!

Miles Robinson secured the Gold Cup for Team USA with a lovely header to put away Mexico in the final. Now, the newly-minted MLS All-Star and George Bello should be in the backfield as Atlanta United tries to end its winless streak versus the last team they beat... way back on May 15!

Marcelino Moreno similarly knocked in a header deep into extra time to give the Five Stripes the mid-May victory, and they haven't had a three-point outcome since. Moreno, Josef Martinez and the offense showed up last week down in O-Town, but they couldn't plug the defensive dam in a deflating 3-2 loss to our conference rivals.

The road trip goes north of the border for the first time in awhile, at the home of CF Montreal (7:30 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, 1600 AM en Espa√Īol). The Quebecois are seeking to stop a three-game losing skid of their own. Although a strong start to the season under emergency manager Wilifried Nancy has them hanging onto a possible playoff spot (6-6-4 W-L-D, 7th in MLS East), last week's loss at dead-last Inter Miami CF has to be worrisome that an Atlanta-style winless skid is afoot. Sacre Bleu!

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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Nil-nil at The Benz for ATLUTD versus LAFC (ESPN, 92.9 FM in ATL), with some great chances by both sides that went awry in the first half.

Team exec Darren Eales wasn't about to get sleepless over Seattle and the best MLS assistant available for hire. Rather than risk waiting for the Sounders' Gonzalo Pineda to be available at the end of the season, Eales went out and got his man. Pineda is supposed to be great on film and great with communication and player relationships, a latter element that has been missing with a couple of the prior managers (not the last interim coach, Rob Valentino, who is reported to have great rapport among players and staff).

Valentino is coaching this and the next one or two games because, while still with the Sounders, Pineda tested positive last week for COVID-19. He's fully vaxxed and asymptomatic, but has been Zoom calling with the Five Stripes players to ease the pending transition.

Eales continued to be busy right on up to the first kick on the pitch today.

Coming away with points for the MLS standings today will require Atlanta to be sharper in final-third execution in the second half... and so far, so good!

In the time I typed this, King Josef got Atlanta on the board. 1-nil! Let's not pull an Atlanta and blow that lead sometime in the next five minutes, okay?

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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What is this, a streak or something?

The Bravos aren't the only local club unearthing themselves. Inside the Perimeter, Atlanta United is on the hunt for a third-straight win. In re-connecting with their fans at the Benz, they seek to confirm their commitment for a playoff push.

Off the pitch, the players already got a win this week. Their filed grievance with the league about ex-manager Gabriel Heinze's sketchy practice tactics proved successful after MLS comcluded its inquiry. AJC's Doug Roberson reports United players will receive a couple extra days off plus additional cash in the year-end bonus pool. The announcement lends credence to fan suspicions that star forward Josef Martinez (three straight games w/ a goal) may have been unfairly suspended by Heinze for pushing back on too many consecutive practice days, terms specified in the collective bargaining agreement.

As the Bravos aim to return to prominence at the expense of the Fish Sticks and the Orioles, for an Atlanta United club (4-6-9 W-L-D, 9th in Eastern Conference) seeking some wins to breach the MLS East's Top-7, they could do a lot worse than drawing Toronto FC (7 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast), 92.9 FM in ATL, 1600 AM en Espanol, the only MLS side that has been a bigger disappointment in 2021, to date.

After finishing one win short of the Supporters' Shield in 2020 despite having to play most of last season down in Florida, TFC brought in Chris Armas, replacing manager Greg Vanney after the latter bailed for the LA Galaxy. While Canada loosened its borders to bring back the Canadian clubs, Toronto has played tight all season long. A 1-8-2 W-L-D slide bottomed out with a 7-1 washout at the hands of D.C. United, and Armas was sacked in early July.

They had an interim manager, too. Javier Perez, announced this month as their head honcho for the balance of this season, enjoyed an upset win versus New England in his debut, Yet TFC (3-10-6) has been winless over its past four matches, including a payback 2-1 loss to the Revolution in Toronto last Saturday.

Toronto comes into the Benz with MLS' worst record and league-worsts of 40 goals allowed (only Portland has given up more than 30) and minus-16 goal differential. They're also tied with Dallas and Armas' former club, the Red Bulls, with a league-worst seven road defeats and, hopefully, counting.

As evidenced in the build-up to his game-winning goal last week versus LAFC, Martinez appears to be gelling well with Ezequiel Barco, and the United offense is getting more reinforcement. Brazilian winger Luiz Araujo arrived last week from French Ligue 1 champion Lille and is available to join the fray. Still filling in for the incoming Gonzalo Pineda, Atlanta interim coach Rob Valentino may elect to withhold Araujo (not pronounced like former Raptor fan favorite Rafael, it's "ah-ra-OO-joo") until a strategic time for a substitution arrives in the second half. Atlanta will need superior full-game play from center-backs like Santiago Sosa to keep Toronto at arm's length by then.

Last Sunday's victory over LAFC (first home win since edging Montreal on May 15) was the first of a stretch of six home matches over the next seven games in Atlanta's schedule, interrupted only by a short trip to face D.C. this weekend. With the defense and goalkeeping growing steady, and the front line getting healthier and deeper, the next month ought to be a pleasant reintroduction of the Five Stripes to its wild but starving fans.

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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It's Wivalwy Reek!

In a twist bigger than my tongue, the Five Stripes can catch D.C. United in the MLS table with a road win tonight (8 PM Eastern, Bally Sports South and 94.1 FM in ATL) at Audi Field. Atlanta (5-9-6 W-D-L) gave Toronto its conference-high eleventh loss in mid-week, and despite clinging to a playoff spot, Yamil Asad and Julian Gressel's D.C. (8-3-9 W-D-L), seeking to avoid a third straight loss, isn't all that far behind.

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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Defending the re-enlivened Nani and the visitors, Orlando City SC, will be a formidable challenge for Atlanta United tonight (7 PM Eastern, FS1, Fox Deportes en Espa√Īol, 92.9 FM in ATL) with both All-Star defenders, George Bello and Miles Robinson holding it down for Team USA again. For similar CONCACAF-related reasons, the Lions (5 goals allowed in last six games, 10-4-8 W-L-D, 2nd in MLS East) won't have to wrangle with their tormenting tamer, Father Josef Martinez of Team Venezuela.

But if the remaining Five Stripes, rested after a couple weeks off, can hold the fort well enough in this second game of a five-game homestand at The Benz, and if Marcelino Moreno and Ezequiel Barco can get a little crafty in the run of play, Atlanta (6-7-9) could retrieve points for the first time under new coach Gonzalo Pineda's watch and stay in shouting distance of a coveted playoff spot. No matter what condition United finds themselves in, nobody sincerely wishes to see Josef and Atlanta at playoff-elimination time. Least of all, Orlando City.

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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Atlanta Sports fans know better than to apply this logic, but it's mighty tempting!

The Five Stripes paste (what was) the second-best team on the MLS East table, Orlando City SC, by a 3-0 score here at Mercedes Benz Stadium. And they managed to secure Gonzalo Pineda his first W as an MLS head coach without the services of either Josef Martinez or Miles Robinson.

So, what if both fellas are back tonight (7 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast) and suiting up at The Benz for some midweek action, seeking to avenge a tough July road draw versus an FC Cincinnati side (4-10-8 W-L-D) that's next-to-last in the East, and outscored 10 to 3 in their last four road contests?

If Pineda can keep some of Ezequiel Barco's recent brilliance to continue to grace the pitch alongside Josef, and the defense solidifies... I mean, it all makes sense what the outcome ought to be, if you're not at all a follower of Atlanta Sports. But, let's all see how it shakes out!

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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Can Atlanta United keep the playoff push rolling? They kick things off at The Benz shortly versus visiting D.C. United (3:30 PM Eastern, Univision and 92.9 FM in English, TUDN en Espanol).

DCU (10-10-4 W-L-D, 5th in MLS East) suffered their last home defeat in a 2-1 loss to the Five Stripes (8-7-9, just behind Philadelphia in PPG for the final playoff spot) back on August 21. That was the close to a three-game losing streak for coach Hern√°n Losada's side, who had been outscored at that point by 10-5 in those games. They've tightened back up defensively (2-0-1 W-L-D with a 7-2 scoring advantage), and they'll be more formidable along the backline, and with keeper Bill Hamid, than the FC Cincy crew that gave up 4 goals to Atlanta in mid-week.

At the other end, MLS Player of the Week Ola Kamara scored a hat trick as D.C. trounced visiting Chicago on Wednesday. Can he and ex-Five Striper Julian Gressel create enough chances on offense, as Atlanta defender Miles Robinson gets some worthy rest, and convert on those chances, to keep Atlanta's ship from passing them before the night?

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

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On 9/18/2021 at 3:11 PM, lethalweapon3 said:

Can Atlanta United keep the playoff push rolling? They kick things off at The Benz shortly versus visiting D.C. United (3:30 PM Eastern, Univision and 92.9 FM in English, TUDN en Espanol).

DCU (10-10-4 W-L-D, 5th in MLS East) suffered their last home defeat in a 2-1 loss to the Five Stripes (8-7-9, just behind Philadelphia in PPG for the final playoff spot) back on August 21. That was the close to a three-game losing streak for coach Hern√°n Losada's side, who had been outscored at that point by 10-5 in those games. They've tightened back up defensively (2-0-1 W-L-D with a 7-2 scoring advantage), and they'll be more formidable along the backline, and with keeper Bill Hamid, than the FC Cincy crew that gave up 4 goals to Atlanta in mid-week.

At the other end, MLS Player of the Week Ola Kamara scored a hat trick as D.C. trounced visiting Chicago on Wednesday. Can he and ex-Five Striper Julian Gressel create enough chances on offense, as Atlanta defender Miles Robinson gets some worthy rest, and convert on those chances, to keep Atlanta's ship from passing them before the night?

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

Yes!

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No, I haven't forgotten about these fellas. Hopefully, you haven't either!

It's an elimination day for The Five Stripes, as they wage their way toward an MLS Cup on the road, in the pillbox at NYCFC's Yankee Stadium (3 PM Eastern, ABC, ESPN Deportes, 92.9 FM in ATL).

I admittedly reached a point with this team that, after digging seemingly unnecessary holes with patchy midfield work and a continued lack of resolve/wherewithal at critical junctures of matches, that I would rather see Atlanta United (13-9-12 W-L-D) come up just short of the 7-team Eastern Conference playoff line. That would have allowed, in my mind, more time for replacement manager Gonzalo Pineda, assistant Rob Valentino, and tech director Carlos Bocanegra to begin fine-tuning their formations, personnel and schemes ahead of a run at 2022's Cup, in an offseason that always involves a swift turnaround.

The other factor in my thinking is that this playoff race is New England's to lose. The Revolution finished 2021 with a record 73 points tallied on the MLS table. To the contrary, it is fair to note that 1-seeds, no matter how strong the regular season, often fail to cross the finish line. Further, the earned bye from this round may find the Revs a bit rusty when the winner of today's 4-vs.-5 game makes it way north to Gillette Stadium. New England last played in MLS action nearly a month ago, on October 27.

Nonetheless, Atlanta secured their spot on November 7 thanks in part to Josef Martinez's and Miles Robinson's heroics (and a big save or two from Brad Guzan) to keep league-worst Cincinnati from running off with what was looking to be a major season-ending spoiler in the regular-season Decision Day finale. No matter what goes on in between them, if those three are upright, healthy, and active, Atlanta has a chance to survive and advance, no matter the venue, or the elements.

Argentinian striker Taty Castellanos won the Golden Boot  with NYCFC (14-11-9, won points tiebreaker with ATL to host this round) as the league's leading scorer (19 goals), something Josef would have surely vied for given a full season of appearances. The Pigeons, however, are missing some key players in their midfield due to injury. Atlanta will need to do all they can to sustain possessions and keep the ball off the feet of Castellanos and Maxi Moralez.

If they can keep NYC occupied with foul magnet Ezequiel Barco around their goal, penalty kicks may help Atlanta escape from New York victoriously. That would set up owner Arthur Blank, coming off the Falcons' beatdowns at the Patriots' expense, with a neat opportunity to play an historic payback spoiler role in Robert Kraft's house.

 

Let's Go United!

~lw3

 

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