The New York Red Bulls did everything but score in a 0-0 draw against Atlanta United. Patryk Klimala came closest to clinching a playoff spot but Brad Guzan would not be denied. It now goes down to Decision Day as Red Bulls visit Nashville and Atlanta United go to Cincinnati.
New York makes a couple of changes for this game against Atlanta. John Tolkin is back from a hamstring knock and starts alongside Sean Nealis and Andres Reyes in defense. Caden Clark — fresh off assisting Fabio in the thrilling 1-0 win over Montreal who also starts — is in the lineup. Patryk Klimala leads the line with Cristian Cásseres Jr. and the Brazilian. Omir Fernandez remains out.
Atlanta name Josef Martínez on the bench for this game, he is replaced by Franco Ibarra. The rest of the is unchanged from the 1-1 draw against Toronto.
New York lineup (3-4-3): Carlos Coronel; John Tolkin, Andres Reyes, Sean Nealis; Caden Clark, (C) Sean Nealis, Dru Yearwood, Kyle Duncan; Fabio, Patryk Klimala, Cristian Cásseres Jr.
Red Bulls subs: Ryan Meara, Tom Edwards, Lucas Monzon, Frankie Amaya, Wikelman Carmona, Youba Diarra, Cameron Harper, Tom Barlow, Danny Royer.
Atlanta lineup (3-4-3): (C) Brad Guzan; Anton Walkes, Alan Franco, Miles Robinson; George Bello, Franco Ibarra, Matheus Rossetto, Brooks Lennon; Marcelino Moreno, Luiz Araujo, Ezequiel Barco.
Five Stripes subs: Alec Kann, George Campbell, Ronald Hernandez, Jurgen Damm, Jake Mulraney, Amar Sejdic, Tyler Wolff, Josef Martinez, Erick Torres.
First Half: A tactical affair produces an even scoreless half
New York won a corner inside the opening three minutes, with the effort hitting the near side netting. Araujo earned the games first yellow card after a foul on Tolkin and then kicking the ball away.
Klimala nearly put the hosts in front but his header at the near post went wide of goal. There weren’t many chances created by either team in the opening half; only two shots on goal for the Red Bulls, none for Atlanta. They’ve dominated the visitors on the stat sheet. It was intriguing to see how Atlanta operated without the ball. Matheus Rossetto in midfield tried to string passes together but nothing worked.
Andres Reyes has really impressed with his defending, tight marking and even slicker passing.
can your centerback do this? pic.twitter.com/TVdHopA1rU
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) November 4, 2021
Second half subs could determine the winner of this game.
Second Half: Nothing separates Red Bulls-Atlanta United as it ends in a draw
New York nearly took an early second half lead but Klimala’s thunderbolt rattled off the underside of the crossbar. He then earned a yellow ball for slamming the ball on the pitch after a foul.
Klimala had another golden chance to put New York in the lead. After beating the offside trap, he was one on one against Guzan, stuck low but the keeper was equal to it. Clark had put the ball in net but was offside.
Massive save by @bguzan on the breakaway! 🚫
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 4, 2021
Josef Martinez and Ronald Hernandez entered the match for Moreno and Araujo. Danny Royer would enter the match for Klimala. Jurgen Damm and George Campbell would also enter the match for Lennon and Ibarra. Wikelman Carmona came on for Caden Clark.
Three Takeaways from New York Red Bulls vs Atlanta United
Red Bulls push and push but don’t score. They dominated the stats, should’ve scored but didn’t. It’s what has plagued them for most of the season, and is something that needs fixing in the offseason. For now they better hope it’s not the reason they miss the playoffs.
Atlanta did their jobs. They didn’t offer much of anything going forward, and got a point out of it. That’s all you can really ask for at this stage, on the road.
It goes to the final day. On Decision Day, New York visits Nashville while Atlanta goes to Cincinnati. Both sides can clinch with wins or other favorable results. The drama goes down on Sunday.