Atlanta, Georgia — No match is ever a cake walk in MLS.
The playoffs can bring out a different type of fight for a team. For the New England Revolution, they were considered the underdogs heading down south to Atlanta. After an abismal start to the season, New England was reignited with the help of a new manager: Bruce Arena.
However, Arena and the Revolution will have to wait another year if they want to lift up the MLS Cup trophy. Atlanta United, last year’s champion, routed the Revolution with a late second half goal from Franco Escobar in the 70th minute.
Atlanta will go on to face the winner of tomorrow’s Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls match. However, on Saturday, Atlanta picked up a victory and a clean sheet. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan played the hero for Atlanta on defense, making six saves. Guzan had no easy task, as he saved two attempts each from DeJuan Jones and Teal Bunbury.
Josef Martinez, last year’s MVP, did not score. However, Martinez did register three shots, but only one fell on goal. In goal for the Revolution, Matt Turner was forced to make four saves.
Atlanta will carry three yellow cards heading into the Eastern Conference semifinals. Martinez, along with Leandro González Pirez and Jeff Larentowicz, picked up yellow cards. Meanwhile, the reigning champs could be without defender Michael Parkhurst.
In the final minutes of the match, Parkhurst had to be helped off the pitch with a shoulder injury. There is no status update on his condition.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) October 19, 2019
Atlanta will kick back on Sunday and watch to see if they face Philadelphia or the Red Bulls. The match is a bit of a toss up, as Philadelphia boasts some injuries and the Red Bulls have not been consistent.
Conference semifinal matches will be held on Oct. 23 and 24. Time have not yet been announced. However, Atlanta will host, being the higher of each seed.