The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United battled to a scoreless draw on Sunday. The first half saw fouls, tackles and players being subbed off. At times, the game slowed to a crawl and underwhelmed. But once it got going, it gave us entertaining moments with Atlanta pushing for a goal and New York gunning on the counter. New York gets its first point on the road.
RBNY Lineup (4-4-2 diamond): Carlos Coronel; John Tolkin, Andres Reyes, Sean Nealis, Kyle Duncan; Tom Edwards, (C) Sean Davis, Wikelman Carmona, Dru Yearwood; Tom Barlow, Patryk Klimala
Atlanta Lineup (4-3-3): (C) Brad Guzan; George Bello, Anton Walkes, Miles Robinson, Brooks Lennon; Ezequiel Barco, Santiago Sosa, Franco Ibarra; Marcelino Moreno, Erick Torres, Erik Lopez
First Half: Lots of tackles and fouls but no goals
New York came out using their usual pressing to unsettle Atlanta when in possession.
There were big gaps across the pitch due to Atlanta’s man-marking style. Most of their attacks went down the wide channels with crosses into the box.
The Red Bulls frustrated Atlanta by being aggressive with pressuring the ball and intercepting passes. Ibarra was forced off due to injury, Alan Franco replaced in the 37-minute.
A giveaway by Atlanta in their own box led to Carmona laying off the ball for Klimala to strike first time. His effort scraped past Guzan but the keeper had to scramble to save it from going over the line.
Thus ended a first half that saw Atlanta without a shot on target despite nearly 60-percent possession. The gameplay for New York was working, all it needed was more quality going forward. According to SofaScore: New York committed 11 fouls to Atlanta’s five, and won 13 tackles to their opponents’ nine.
Second Half: End-to-end play ends in scoreless draw
Fabio came on to replace Klimala at the start of the second half. Minutes later, Reyes came down grabbing his hamstring, Frankie Amaya replaces.
With that substitution, Tom Edwards took over at center-back. Kyle Duncan with a nice move to get around his defender. But he was caught between two minds, wasting his effort by neither shooting towards goal or feeding Fabio to tap in.
Edwards also pulled up lame as the turf just ate up players left and right. Amro Tarek replaced the Englishman. Duncan again had another chance to score the opening goal, but Guzan was able to match his strike.
With 20 minutes remaining, Jake Mulraney subbed on for Lopez. Omir Fernandez and Cameron Harper came on in place of Tom Barlow and Dru Yearwood.
The Five Stripes nearly scored but were denied by a wonderful Coronel tip save. Another chance came Atlanta’s way off a corner only for Robinson’s header to hit the post.
After 96 minutes of play, the game finished scoreless.
Keeping that sheet clean. Big stop from Carlos Coronel!
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) June 27, 2021
Last Words on Atlanta vs Red Bulls:
Let’s get this out the way first, it’s an embarrassment that games are still being played on artificial turf. Players on both sides hobbled off with injuries, there were multiple stoppages in play. And ultimately, the game lacked a flow throughout with the turf playing a major role in that. It’s no wonder players are hesitant to play on that surface, it hurts the overall quality of the game and jeopardizes the health and safety of the athletes.
As far as the game goes, it was really interesting to see how both teams combatted each other. Gerhard Struber rotated giving Carmona his first MLS start and playing Barlow up front. New York will rue the missed chances in the first half as they played better overall. But once Atlanta stepped up their game, they took it to their opponents but ultimately didn’t score as well. The back-and-forth was incredible and reckless which gave each team a chance to steal a goal. A scoreless draw was the last thing anyone had coming into this game.
Atlanta are now riding a five-game winless run and have failed to score in two straight. The Red Bulls will feel better about themselves having earned their first road point. But the injuries to Reyes and Edwards, both defenders, will give Struber much to think about as they head to Orlando next Saturday. Overall, a point apiece is a fair result.