FC Cincinnati earn first-ever MLS point with 1-1 draw against Atlanta

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FC Cincinnati
ATLANTA, GA — MARCH 10: Cincinnati's Kekuta Manneh (31) moves upfield with the ball during the MLS match between FC Cincinnati and Atlanta United FC on March 10th, 2019 at Mercedes Benz Stadium Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Atlanta, Georgia (March 10, 2019) — Atlanta United FC are worrying some of their fans. After winning the MLS Cup last year, head coach Tata Martino left the team and joined the Mexican National Team. Meanwhile, Dutch coach Frank de Boer took over an extremely talented squad.

However, that talented squad has only earned one point in two MLS matches.

FC Cincinnati earn first-ever MLS point with 1-1 draw against Atlanta

It’s early in the season and there’s no reason to panic right now. However, Atlanta United FC had a complete defensive breakdown against expansion club FC Cincinnati tonight. With five minutes left in regular time, Atlanta United FC gave up a goal to Roland Lamah of Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, there was no last-ditch effort for the lead again.

Atlanta started off the match with flashes of last season. Josef Martínez, the reigning MLS MVP, scored in the 5th minute of the match. However, Atlanta failed to find a second goal, as Spencer Richey sharpened up his skills in net. Richey entered the net in place of Polish goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń.

After the match, Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch spoke about how his side showed “major” growth.

“We might’ve shown major growth tonight without getting anything from the game,” Koch said. “We believe in the group and we know it’s going to take time, but that growth was unfolding in front of our eyes as the game was going on and on and on. I think getting the point is huge for the players’ confidence.”

Meanwhile, for Cincinnati, the draw proved to be historic. The one-point is the first-ever MLS point for FC Cincinnati. As for Atlanta, it’s back to the drawing board for de Boer for quick preparations.

Unlike FC Cincinnati, Atlanta can’t wait another week to find a result. The MLS champions have a major uphill climb against Monterrey on Wednesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League. Atlanta gave up three goals on their road trip to Mexico. Wednesday’s match will be held at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Three Takeaways

  1. Settle down with the “de Boer has to go:” It’s too early to sack a head coach. After two matches, and a couple CONCACAF Champions League appearances, Atlanta fans already want de Boer gone. While his lineups and formations haven’t been the prettiest, he has time to change that around. However, if he does, then he has to go. He can’t be playing talented players in awkward positions. Speaking of which.
  2. Cut Pity Martinez some slack: Not everyone jumps into a new league with the same flair that maybe Raul Ruidiaz or Wayne Rooney does. Pity Martinez doesn’t know English and he didn’t even get a full preseason with Atlanta United FC. Plus, alluding the previous point, he’s not in the most comfortable position with the formation. He’s a big-time assist giver, but right now he’s being shut down. Give him some time, though. He’s got a bright future in Atlanta.
  3. FC Cincinnati can only go up: Speaking of bright futures, it takes a lot to go into the Mercedes Benz Stadium and earn a draw. It’s even harder, as the new kids, to do it against the MLS champions. However, FC Cincinnati might not have gotten a win, but the draw can boost a ton of confidence. Now, Cincinnati must prepare for a Portland team that will be without Diego Chara and on the road. Cincinnati has a real opportunity to earn their first-ever three points.

 

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