Atlanta United – Match Report vs New England Revolution 19/10/19


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Match Overview

Atlanta United were able to progress through to the next round of the playoffs thanks to their 1-0 win over New England Revolution. Playing in a type of 3-4-2-1 formation, Atlanta looked to get the ball into their forward players as quickly as possible in order to create chances, as well as using their wing backs to provide width in attacking areas. They looked to play between the opposition lines and this was effective on occasion. They played well at times by pressing high and looked menacing in the final third, however, for periods of the game they allowed their intensity to drop which gave their opposition a chance to grow into the game. In the end they will have been pleased to come away with a result that saw them through, despite it being far from their best performance.

Ezequiel Barco

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Argentine
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 29/03/1999
  • Current Club: Atlanta United
  • Career: Independiente, Atlanta United
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: 10
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing just off the striker in this game, Ezequiel Barco was Atlanta United’s main source of creativity as the 21 year old posed a constant threat to New England. With the ball at his feet Barco was exceptional, beating many opposition players and proving very hard to dispossess with a low centre of gravity allowing him to change direction very quickly. The Argentine forward showed great vision, playing some intricate through balls and often looking to penetrate the opposition defensive, and this creativity paid off when he assisted the winning goal in the encounter that finished 1-0. He seemed full of confidence but as a result occasionally tried to force the play and therefore lost possession a couple of times either through overrunning the ball or making a loose pass, but Barco also swung in some dangerous deliveries from corners or wide positions in open play.

He was given a licence to roam in this match and used it to full effect, either dropping deep to assist in his side’s build up play or by finding dangerous pockets of space between the lines. One of the only aspects of Barco’s game that let him down was his finishing, as he lacked that clinical edge in front of goal when on another day he could have found the net on two or three different occasions. Standing at only 5’5″, the Argentine did lack physicality and was therefore too weak to compete at times, but for the most part he used his size well when running with the ball to beat his man or draw a foul. Barco had not been given many defensive duties to fulfil in this game but he showed a good burst of pace to press well and nip in front of his opponent at times to win back possession.

Overall, Barco was an exciting player to watch who always seemed capable of creating something when in possession as he guided his side through to the next round of the playoffs.

Rating: A1

Josef Martinez

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Venezuelan
  • Age: 26
  • Date of birth: 19/05/1993
  • Current Club: Atlanta United
  • Career: Caracas, Young Boys, Thun (L), Torino, Atlanta United
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Left Wing / 10
  • Preferred foot: Right

Josef Martinez had a relatively quiet game but nonetheless often posed a real threat to the opposition goal. The Venezuelan played an important role for his team at times, making some clever first time passes, flick ons and lay offs to set up counter attacks. He made some good runs off the shoulder of the defender and as a result created a few opportunities for his team and he also had a couple of chances himself which he will have felt he could have done better with.

His interplay in the final third was sharp and accurate and he always seemed alive in the box, getting to a loose ball before the goalkeeper only to then go down too easily and be booked for simulation. Part of his game is winning fouls for his team to relieve pressure or create dangerous set piece situations but occasionally the striker did go down too easily. Martinez used a good injection of pace to get in behind and really could have had two or three goals by the end of the match, not showing a sufficient cutting edge in front of goal.

The 5’7″ forward worked hard for his team when out of possession and on the whole had a decent game aside from his inability to finish the chances he did have.

Rating: B1

Emerson Hyndman

Player profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 09/04/1996
  • Current Club: Atlanta United
  • Career: FC Dallas (Y), Fulham, AFC Bournemouth, Rangers (L), Hibernian (L), Atlanta United
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: 10
  • Preferred foot: Right

Emerson Hyndman hardly put a foot wrong in central midfield before being withdrawn due to a formation change with just under half an hour left to play. When defending, the American rarely dived into tackles, but made some important challenges to win the ball back in midfield and pressed his opponent well, showing good awareness to cut off passing lanes. The midfielder used a high level of aggression and was strong but fair in challenges, which proved very productive for himself and his team.

When Atlanta were in possession, Hyndman was very composed and always looked calm and collected when passing or dribbling. His passing was accurate and progressive and he often looked to link up with his teammates in the middle and final thirds to create chances. The 24 year old’s movement off the ball was also important, making some good runs and occupying dangerous forward positions in behind the opposition midfield. On the whole it was an impressive performance from Hyndman who had a good all round game.

Rating: A2

Franco Escobar

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Argentine
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 21/02/1995
  • Current Club: Atlanta United
  • Career: Newell’s Old Boys, Atlanta United
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Right

Franco Escobar put on a quality display for Atlanta United, playing the first hour or as the right central defender of a back three before then being moved to right back for the remainder of the match. The Argentine defender was very aggressive when defending, constantly hassling his opponent to direct them away from goal, and this largely succeeded for him as he made some important tackles and proved hard to get past for the New England forwards. When Escobar was faced with an attacker running at him, he delayed well and used an excellent turn of pace to make sure he was rarely beaten. He timed his tackles well and tracked runners to make a couple of vital interceptions and interventions to prevent the opposition having a shot on goal.

The defender’s eagerness to win the ball and press did mean that on occasion he broke the defensive line to go and press the midfield, leaving a gap in behind him ,that fortunately for Escobar, the opposition were unable to exploit. When in possession, the 25 year old was confident and made some good progressive passes, rarely losing the ball. His move to right back gave him more freedom to go forward and he used the opportunity effectively, making several overlapping runs, one of which saw him run in behind and score with a powerful strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Overall, Escobar had a good game, managing to score the winning goal as well as putting in a solid defensive performance at the other end.

Rating: A2


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