Sun, 01 Aug 2021

NYCFC, Atlanta meet in early battle for playoff positioning

Field Level Media
23 Jun 2021, 04:40 GMT+10

New York City FC host Atlanta United on Wednesday night in Harrison, N.J., in their first meeting this season with both sides entering the week level in points.

New York City FC (3-3-2, 11 points) are clinging to the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, tied with Atlanta (2-1-5, 11 points), CF Montreal and Nashville SC, but holding the edge on wins and goal differential.

NYCFC suffered a tough 3-2 loss to conference-leading New England on Saturday after earning points in five of its previous six matches.

New York City's defensive lapses were a major factor, including one that contributed to the Revolution's game-winning goal by Tommy McNamara in the 88th minute. The score came just three minutes after Ismael Tajouri-Shradi tied the match off a corner kick.

"I felt like we never had full control of the game defensively, but offensively we were dangerous and created chances," NYCFC coach Ronny Deila said after the match. "We can talk as much as we want but we have to take chances when we have them. I feel like we were a little too passive with our pressure in the first half but the second half we went for it."

Atlanta United are on a five-match point streak although four of those results have been draws.

Atlanta is coming off a disappointing 2-2 stalemate against Philadelphia in which it surrendered the tying goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. There was also an own goal by Kacper Przybylko in the first half of that match.

"We are very, very disappointed not to get three points tonight," Atlanta fullback Brooks Lennon said. "Up 2-0, just like our last match. Less than 10 minutes to go. Disappointed to drop three points; when you are looking at it from a higher lens, the overall performance was good."

Atlanta manager Gabriel Heinze is suspended for Wednesday's game due to yellow card accumulation. Assistant coach Mariano Toedtli will coach the match. Josef Martinez is playing with Venezuela in Copa America while Emerson Hyndman and Jurgen Damm likely remain out with leg injuries for Atlanta. New York City's Heber (knee) and Gedion Zelalem (knee) are also out.

--Field Level Media

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