Atlanta United wins first leg of CONCACAF Champions League Spherical of 16 vs. Alajuelense

The primary fit of any season will inherently be slightly of a check run, and likelihood is that it’s no longer going to be lovely.

Particularly within the CONCACAF Champions League. Particularly then. However for Atlanta United, the instances surrounding the workforce and the matchup had been of no significance because the 5 Stripes secured a 1-Zero win over Alajuelense within the leg of the CCL Spherical of 16 and the primary sport of Gabriel Heinze’s tenure.

Positive, the workforce has a brand new trainer in Gabriel Heinze, and likely, Atlanta’s roster appears to be like other from ultimate yr (in a great way), however Atlanta nonetheless were given the activity executed within the all necessary away leg that took place to be this workforce’s first ever aggressive fit beneath Heinze and with this squad.

Ezequiel Barco’s 50th-minute penalty kick made the variation on the ultimate whistle.

The sport might be described as “becoming” of the CONCACAF spirit. Over the process that 90 mins, we noticed Brad Guzan earn a directly purple card for a overdue take on outdoor of the penalty house on the finish of the primary part and an excessively gifted football kid change him.

Rocco Rios Novo, the 18-year-old goalkeeper and aforementioned football kid referred to as upon to exchange Guzan in objective, signed a Brief-Time period Settlement the day sooner than the primary leg. The younger goalkeeper performed a a very powerful function in seeing out the win, creating a membership report six CONCACAF Champions League saves over the process his first workforce debut.

“I simply felt a large number of happiness,” Novos mentioned by means of a translator. “It’s a second that I’ll by no means omit.”

Simply some other day in CONCACAF. The stuff of desires.

We additionally noticed Josef Martinez make his lengthy awaited go back to the sector, Santiago Sosa display his elegance, and so a lot more.

Whilst the outcome itself is a pleasing finishing to Atlanta’s first fit day, the primary takeaway from this fit might lie outdoor of the rating line. The purpose of the contest is to win it, however this fit means that Atlanta United may have an excessively promising season on its fingers.

Atlanta hadn’t performed a aggressive fit since 2020 and Alajuelense has been on a home tear, main the Liga de Fútbol de Primera División and going undefeated in all competitions since ultimate November. Atlanta broke that undefeated run whilst taking part in down a person for part of the away fit.

The end result places Atlanta in a forged place heading into subsequent week, and the away objective stays as necessary as ever. Atlanta might be with out Brad Guzan, however it seems like Atlanta will nonetheless be in secure fingers.

One of the vital noticeable sides about Atlanta’s setup Sosa’s positioning. Atlanta appeared intent on construction out of the again, and Sosa’s positioning along heart backs Miles Robinson and Anton Walkes helped facilitate that want to increase play with out compromising Atlanta’s defensive construction. He completed the sport with 82 touches for Atlanta United, 16 greater than second-place Brooks Lennon.

The MLS season may not start till 17th, so Atlanta United can center of attention on restoration and preparation for the go back leg in Kennesaw at 5th 3rd Financial institution Stadium on April 13th.

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