Atlanta United

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Portland Timbers 0 - 2 Atlanta United
2019-08-19 07:30 More Reports
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Season Guide
2019

Atlanta United

In


Brek Shea (mid), (Vancouver Whitecaps), Brendan Moore (gk), (Rochdale), Dion Periera (att), (Watford), Gonzalo Martinez (mid), (River Plate), Florentin Pogba (def), (Free), Amir Bashti (mid), (Stanford), Anderson Asiedu (mid), (UCLA Bruins)

Out


Miguel Almiron (mid), (Newcastle United), Greg Garza (def), (FC Cincinnati), Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (def), (FC Tuscon), Chris McCann (mid), (D.C United), Mitch Hildebrandt (gk), (Free), Oliver Shannon (mid), (Free), Sal Zizzo (def), (Free)

It was a tremendous 2018 for Atlanta following their first ever MLS cup triumph in just their second MLS season, finishing runners up to the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. They excelled in the play-offs seeing off both New York clubs and beating Portland Timbers in the final. Atlanta’s vibrant attacking style has won plaudits across the whole United States and they were the highest scorers in the MLS in 2018 notching an impressive 70 goals with striker Josef Martinez scoring 31 of those, and unsurprisingly was the MLS top scorer. Atlanta will start 2019 without head coach Gerardo Martino who has departed for the Mexican national team and has been replaced by Dutchman Frank De Boer who is tasked with continuing the successes of the previous seasons. De Boer has been hit with a hammer blow in the off-season with talismanic midfielder Miguel Almiron departing the club to join English side Newcastle United in club record deal for both clubs. Almiron was a key player throughout his two seasons scoring 22 goals and assisting 30 goals. De Boer has replaced him with midfielder Gonzalo Martinez. Known as ‘Pity’ in his native Argentina, Martinez arrives with plenty of pedigree having made 96 appearances for River Plate averaging a goal every 4 games having scored 24 goals in his time at River Plate. He arrives with a $15 million price tag equalling the record paid for Ezequiel Barco in 2018. The loss of Almiron will be difficult but Martinez is more than capable of filling his boots. De Boer has strengthened in other areas including adding the experienced Brek Shea and Florentin Pogba.

Target


Will be looking to keep the momentum from 2018 going with the club wanting to continue their brilliant success. Finishing in the play-off places would be the minimum expectation for the season.

Season Review
2018

№2: Atlanta United

In just their second ever season in Major League Soccer, Atlanta United would go on to smash multiple records as they claimed their first ever MLS Cup title. While United would be pipped to the Supporters’ Shield championship, finishing the regular season just two points behind first place New York Red Bulls, they made no mistake when it came to the playoffs, comfortably defeating the Portland Timbers 2-0 in the final. United were dominant for the entire season, their attacking threat matched by no other teams in the league. Scoring a total of seventy goals, Atlanta become the first ever MLS team to score over seventy goals in back to back seasons. While the twelve goals and fourteen assists of Miguel Almiron were certainly key to this, the main man behind Atlanta’s attacking threat was forward, Josef Martinez. Scoring thirty-one goals, Martinez would break the record for the most goals scored in a single MLS season. The Venezuelan forward would also pick up both the league’s Golden Boot trophy, alongside the MVP award. The biggest question for United heading into next season is who will be in charge. Head coach Gerardo Martino chose not to continue on as manager, with the club now tasked with finding a suitable replacement. Former Ajax boss Frank De Boer appears to be the current favourite so far. With so many players performing so well in 2018, questions also have to be raised over their status. Miguel Almiron has been repeatedly linked with team in Europe over the last few months, although remains an Atlanta player at present.


Player of the Season: Josef Martinez

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