Coming off a 6-1 win against Minnesota United, Atlanta United continued the momentum on Saturday with a 4-0 win against the Chicago Fire. The expansion squad now sits at number 2 in the Eastern conference.
The first goal came five minutes into the first half with a deflection that was given to Julian Gressel. The game stayed at 1-0 for the remainder of the first half with Atlanta missing multiple opportunities to score and coasting into halftime.
Both teams held strong possession, but ultimately it was Atlanta United who commanded the field in the second half by setting up the plays and scoring using the speed and footwork of Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan forward scored the second goal with an assist from Miguel Almiron and a quick cut to the left.
It’s an aggressive and calculating style the club is refining after more time together and identifying their strengths. The team played with discipline, moving the ball and moving off the ball leading them to dominate the match.
Goalkeeper Alec Kann said now it just a matter of keeping up the momentum.
“We had a shutout today, so that’s great, but we’re still a young team that’s relatively new so we need to work on our organization, he said.
Atlanta United breaks down weak points and runs the ball to score with precision. There’s no better proof than when Hector Villalba scored in the 67th minute by spotting an opening while surrounded by Chicago’s offense. The shots kept coming when Martinez scored another goal with a smooth pass by Yamil Asad.
“My job every game is to keep a clean sheet, but when we score four goals it does make my job easier,” Kann said. “Josef is a handful he’s going to take this league by storm.”
It was Atlanta stepping up to take advantage of breaks in Chicago’s weak defense that led to the club’s second win before a four game road trip.
United next plays the Seattle Sounders on March 31, Toronto FC April 8, Montreal Impact April 15 and then Real Salt Lake on April 22 before playing D.C. United at home on April 30.