United FC-New York City FC Preview
Ronny Deila is glad New York City FC have a chance to quickly respond to Saturday's cruel 3-2 loss to New England Revolution when they face Atlanta United at Red Bull Arena.
NYCFC twice pegged back the Supporters' Shield leaders after missing an early penalty, only for Tommy McNamara to snatch a late winner for the Revs in a back-and-forth clash.
That makes it just one win in five games for City, but Deila's side have little time to stew on the defeat ahead of games with Atlanta and DC United in quick succession.
"That's the thing with football - we have another game in four days and will make ourselves ready for that," Deila said after last weekend's defeat.
"We talked after the game about switching focus to Wednesday and not about what happened against New England. We have to look at the small details and be better next time."
City are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, level on points with Wednesday's opponents Atlanta.
The Five Stripes conceded two goals in the final stages for the second game running against Philadelphia Union to draw 2-2 on Sunday, making it five draws in their last six matches.
Despite another late collapse last time out, with Jakob Glesnes scoring a goal of the season contender to deny Atlanta, head coach Gabriel Heinze was pleased with what he saw.
"This is a team that I want and I'm happy with the performance," he said. "I think the team faced a great side in Philadelphia. I believe that, for the most part, we were better.
"It's true that after three weeks off it's harder to play. I like the reading of my team. I cannot talk about the result because it is what it is. Now what we can do is keep working."
New York City FC - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi
Libya international Tajouri-Shradi scored the second of NYCFC's equalisers against the Revs to make it goals in three successive appearances, two of those as a substitute. He is the fourth NYCFC player to score in back-to-back substitute appearances, after Heber, Khiry Shelton and Mix Diskerud, and may have done enough to earn a recall.
Atlanta United - Erick Torres
Torres has yet to score in four MLS appearances for Atlanta this season, but he got in some promising positions against the Union and may lead the attack again on Wednesday. With Josef Martinez away on Copa America duty, there is a lot of pressure on Torres to end his scoring drought in what is an important match for Atlanta.
- New York City won its first game against Atlanta United (3-1 in 2017) and its most recent game against Atlanta United (4-1 in September 2019), but did not win any of the six meetings between those wins (D2 L4, including playoffs).
- NYCFC has lost two consecutive home games for the first time since April-May 2015, though both of those losses were at Red Bull Arena (as this match is). NYCFC has never lost three in a row at home in its MLS history.
- Atlanta United has drawn two straight matches despite leading both of them by two goals entering the 75th minute. They are the first team to lose consecutive two-goal leads in the 75th minute or later in MLS since at least 2009.
- Brooks Lennon created eight chances for teammates in Sunday's draw with the Union, equalling the most by any player in a single match in Atlanta United history (with Julian Gressel v Houston in 2019 and Miguel Almiron vs Philadelphia in 2018).
Updated June 22, 2021