Editorial (August 5, 2018) – After the MLS All-Star Game, Atlanta United FC looked to get back on track against an always tough opponent in Toronto FC. Atlanta United drops points despite dominating the game from a statistical standpoint but ultimately it was a game of momentum.
Atlanta United Drops Two Points At Home to Toronto FC: Player Ratings
Sebastian Giovinco, with Toronto FC’s first shot of the game, scored on an untouched cross that left Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz flat-footed. Then Tata Martino took over with one of his classic half-time speeches. Atlanta came out swinging and in the 53rd minute, Josef Martínez went down and scored on a controversial penalty. That penalty goal was the 15th goal Atlanta United had scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half this season. Atlanta continued the momentum by scoring only 14 minutes later courtesy of a Josef Martínez header from a Tito Villalba cross.
The game went in Toronto FC’s favor once they subbed on Tosaint Ricketts in the 81st minute. After that, Toronto registered 80% of their shots and in the 91st minute, Ricketts latched on to a cross from Jonathan Osorio after some wonderful open-field play from Sebastian Giovinco.
Atlanta dropped two points on the road but against a good opponent and playing with a different formation, it is not an awful result all things considered. There were a few great performances from Atlanta players but some were disappointing. Here is how I rated the Five Stripes!
Brad Guzan- 5.5
Toronto only had two shots on goal but Brad Guzan let both of them in without making a single save.
Michael Parkhurst- 6.25
Parkhurst had a decent enough game having a 94% pass success rate but he had no tackles and lost Giovinco in the play that led up to the goal.
Jeff Larentowicz- 6.75
Larentowicz played his second position today as a center back in the back three but didn’t put in as good of a performance as expected. He only made one tackle but he had a 92% pass success rate and also won three aerials.
Leandro González Pirez- 7.5
Obviously the best performer on the back line, González Pirez was a rock making 3 tackles and was cool on the ball as he commanded 6.7% of possession (most on either team).
Kevin Kratz- 7
Kratz played a full 90 minutes and played well making four tackles in the midfield and making four key passes.
Eric Remedi- 6.5
In his third game for the Five Stripes, Eric Remedi went for 90 minutes making three tackles as well as having a 100% tackle success rate.
Chris McCann- 7.5
McCann was one of the best players for Atlanta today having a 100% tackle success rate with five tackles and two interceptions. He also had two key passes and held his own coming up the pitch.
Julian Gressel- 7.75
Gressel played farther back than normal but was still one of the best performers. He was 4/4 on tackles, had two shots, and four key passes.
Miguel Almirón- 6.75
Not the best performance from Miggy. He seemed to be everywhere on the pitch but he was 1/3 dribbling, was dispossessed four times, and only had 2/6 shots on target but neither were trouble for Bono. Miguel has had a great year this year but has yet to find his shooting boots as he only puts 33% of his shot on target and has only scored four goals from open play this year.
Josef Martínez- 8
Josef had another great game tonight putting 4/7 of his shots on target and scoring a wonderful diving header. He showed his great instincts again this game and has continued his scoring streak. Contrary to popular belief, Martínez doesn’t mostly score in garbage time as 15 of his 19 goals have equalized or given Atlanta the lead.
Man Of The Match
Tito Villalba- 8.5
Tito is so important to this squad. His speed on and off the ball, his dribbling ability, and his passing makes him one of the best players in the league and he showed that tonight. Villalba was all over the pitch today using his speed and dribbling ability to get past players as he put in multiple crosses and completed 5 key passes (most of any player on both teams). If Atlanta United plan on making it far in the playoffs, Tito needs to have more great performances like this.