Atlanta United Portland Timbers Tactical Analysis

Atlanta United have had a slow start to the new season under new manager Frank De Boer, having failed to score in their first two games this season. They lost 2-0 in the MLS season opener away to DC United, and then were embarrassed 3-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final to Liga MX side CF Monterrey. After winning the MLS Cup last season under Tata Martino, they’ve transitioned to a more deliberate style of play under the former Ajax manager.

As a new expansion side, Cincinnati lost their first ever match of MLS football at Seattle 4-1 but their expected goals against of 2.2 was the sixth best in the league last week. This defensive solidity would come in handy in this match as they looked to slow down one of the most dangerous attacks in MLS last season.

Cincinnati took up a very defensive structure, challenging the Five Stripes to break them down. Atlanta United scored early, with reigning MVP Josef Martinez putting Atlanta ahead in the fifth minute. After this though, Atlanta struggled to create any decent chances while the visitors also struggled to create any attacking threat.

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