Miguel Almiron, Atlanta United FC blow out Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (September 15, 2018)Atlanta United FC got a critical win in their hunt for the Supporter’s Shield on Saturday afternoon. They defeated Colorado Rapids 3-0 on the backs of two goals and an assist from Miguel Almiron.

Miguel Almiron, Atlanta United FC blow out Colorado Rapids

This game was all Atlanta from the opening kick off. Almiron opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Julian Gressel received the ball in a wide position and ran forward, sending a cross into the box. Miguel Almiron got behind the backline and ran onto the ball near the far post, blasting it into the top of the net.

United scored again eight minutes later. With the Rapids pressing into the midfield, Kellyn Acosta was stripped of the ball by Eric Remedi. The ball rolled to Josef Martinez who picked up the speed with just Kortne Ford between him and goalkeeper Tim Howard. Martinez rolled the ball past Ford to Almiron who scored again.

Hector Villalba scored in the 35th minute. Almiron sent a long through ball to Gressel, who was making a run near the touchline and in space. He ran onto the ball past Tommy Smith and sent a cross right into the six-yard box. Ford couldn’t intercept it and Villalba tapped it in.

The half ended 3-0 in favor of the visitors. Both teams struggled in the second half, with the heat taking effect for the afternoon kickoff. Atlanta continued to create chances from the wing. Substitutes Shkelzen Gashi and Niki Jackson provided some energy, but neither got enough service to be dangerous. The match ended 3-0.

Three takeaways:

Atlanta shows class and tactical superiority: The Five Stripes showed their class in this game. Their 3-4-1-2 formation dominated all over the field, winning possession in the midfield and pressing the spaces between the Rapids midfield and back line. With excellent performances from the wide players and superior skill up top, they showed why they’re one of the best in MLS.

Refreshing faces: Darlington Nagbe made his first start since returning from an injury earlier this season. On the other side, after making his MLS debut last weekend, 17-year-old Cole Bassett made his home debut for the Rapids as a homegrown. Nagbe went 77 minutes, putting in a good shift. Basset came off the bench in the 82nd.

Heat kills second half: The wet bulb temperature index was in effect for this game, with the temperature at kickoff over 90 degrees Farenheight. There were water breaks in both halves. It really killed the second half, as both teams appeared wilted. With the result in hand, Atlanta slowed things down to conserve energy and preserve the win.