HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 13: A general view of the MLS, Fussball Herren, USA march ball on the field during the first half of the Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and Minnesota United on March 13, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire SOCCER: MAR 13 MLS - Minnesota United at New York Red Bulls Icon220332609

In this MLS midweek matchup, defending champions Atlanta United hosted Toronto FC. As the last two teams to win the competition, this should have been a much closer game. Despite having a rocky start to the campaign, Atlanta United have regained form, making a charge up the table. Before the match Toronto FC had the best points per game ratio in the MLS, breathing down the necks of the conference leaders with a few games in hand. But the game finished 2-0 for Atlanta United, who closed the gap on Toronto FC in the league. This tactical analysis will look at exactly how the game was won.

Team news

Tactical Analysis Atlanta United Toronto FC MLS Statistics

Frank de Boer made two personnel changes from his win against Sporting KC earlier in the week. Maintaining a 4-2-3-1 formation, Brek Shea returned to the starting lineup, replacing veteran Michael Parkhurst. Héctor Villalba also returned to the lineup with Ezequiel Barco leaving the Atlanta camp for international duty.

Greg Vanney, on the other hand, made a whopping six personnel changes after beating Orlando. He too set up his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jordan Hamilton, Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado, Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga and Auro dropping out of the lineup. All but Hamilton made the bench as Ashtone Morgan, Eriq Zavaleta, Richie Laryea, Liam Frasier, Jay Chapman and Ayo Akinola started in their place. This is the first game that Jonathan Osorio and Justin Morrow haven’t started in the 2019 MLS season.

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