Due to the speed of turnaround, we’re putting together a two-game ratings mashup for the Atlanta United squad members who featured prominently over the long weekend against the New York Red Bulls and NYCFC.
GK Rocco Rios Novo 5 – It wasn’t the best weekend for the young keeper, especially in the second game against NYCFC where there was some clear confusion in front of goal and he was hit at the near post again. On the other hand, he was fascinating to watch on the ball against the New York Red Bulls and was a great help to the team in that game. With new signing Raul Gudiño now available, I suspect Rios Novo will resume his role as backup. If that’s the case, he performed his role admirably.
LB Caleb Wiley 6 – Yes, he made a significant mistake against Red Bulls that resulted in points being dropped and arguably started the slide towards defeat. But otherwise he was very good in the game. And more importantly, he recovered and was one of the best players on the team in the game after the big mistake.
CB Alan Franco 5 – Much like Wiley, Franco had an excellent game (Red Bulls, where he played as a central defender in a back three) and one in which he made at least one crucial error that led to Taty Castellanos’ goal in the 37th minute from a poor decision to set an offside trap.
CB George Campbell5 – Campbell struggled a little under pressure from Red Bull and the tight confines of Yankee Stadium. But while it wasn’t always the prettiest thing, he wasn’t clearly to blame for any goals and generally did a decent job.
CB Alex DeJohn 4 – It’s tough because I honestly thought he played very well in his game against Red Bulls… except for that one big mistake. But to highlight what he did well, he launched Atlanta’s best attacking build-up of the weekend and possibly the season.
RB Aiden McFadden 6 – I’m not rating him in a curve as he has no first team experience but if I were it would be around an 8. The guy entered the lineup without missing a beat and the team seems in not to be restricted in any way in what it wants to do with it on the field. A great testimony for him and I would expect him to sign a contract with the first team during the off-season (or later this week if that’s how they plan to add him to the squad for the rest of the season).
CM Franco Ibarra 6 – Recovered from his worst game of the season against Toronto with a crafty performance against the Red Bulls. Interestingly, he wasn’t the deepest midfielder when playing as part of a true three-man midfield, which I felt suited him better. It allowed him to walk around and press the ball instead of sitting back and reading the game. Perhaps troubling that he wasn’t in the gameday roster against NYCFC
CM Matheus Rossetto 7 – He probably wasn’t expecting to start both games after Emerson Hyndman had a late scratch against NYCFC, but he played his role very well in both games. He only had 3 incomplete passes (95 percent) on the tight field at Yankee Stadium. And as the deepest midfielder against the Red Bulls, he did his job very well.
CM Amar Sejdic 6 – Did you know that Sejdic also started these two games? If not, it’s a testament to Sejdic playing a role in the squad and XI where if you don’t notice him, it’s probably a good thing. He keeps the ball moving relatively quickly and offers enough defense to be a solid substitute when called upon.
FWD Marcelino Moreno 4 – Participated in the NYCFC game only to a limited extent and was not very involved. Unlike Sejdic, a player like Moreno is a player you want to see on the field and that hasn’t happened often. He also told that Pineda ultimately decided not to use Moreno as a substitute in the 60th minute against Red Bulls, as said by the manager he originally planned.
FWD Thiago Almada 6 – Apparently he could only play in the NYCFC game but made an immediate impression on the team with his assist for Josef Martinez. It is striking how strong Almada is on the ball. He doesn’t go down easily and is very good at deflecting tackles long enough to pass the ball to a free runner.
FWD Ronaldo Cisneros 6 – Cisneros was only ok against Red Bulls – found himself at the end of a couple of chances but failed to convert. He gets a 6 on the assist in the closing moments against NYCFC where he faked very well and unbalanced his defending defender, allowing him to catch up and eventually supply the assist to Dom Dwyer
FWD Luiz Araujo 7 – Incredibly brave performance from Araujo who played as many tough minutes as he did over the weekend, especially after being kicked to hell against Toronto coming into the game looking horribly scraped and injured on his shin. His creativity showed and he always looked dangerous in front of goal.
FWD Josef Martinez 7 – As disappointing as some aspects of the weekend were, we should all be very encouraged to see Josef Martinez scoring regularly again. And yes, while the RBNY goal was a tap-in, the goal scored against NYCFC looked like the Josef we know – sprinting and contorting his body in the air to get solid contact with a header into the bottom corner .
FWD Dom Dwyer 8 – What else can you say about this guy? He’s perfect at the job he has to do.