New York Red Bulls vs Atlanta United

Atlanta United come into their MLS encounter this weekend in search of a second road victory of the season when they face the New York Red Bulls on Thursday at Red Bull Arena.

New York are three points behind the Philadelphia Union for first in the Eastern Conference after dropping a 2-0 decision to Los Angeles FC, while the Five Stripes conceded early and late in Toronto last weekend, losing 2-1.

Match preview

Over the past couple of months, we have seen a role reversal from New York compared to what they showed us through the early portion of this campaign.

Over the past couple of months, we have seen a role reversal from New York compared to what they showed us through the early portion of this campaign.

For Atlanta United, the good times lasted for one game as they extended their winless run away from home to six straight matches in all competitions a week ago, after winning comfortably 2-0 win versus Inter Miami in their previous match.

Throughout the 2022 campaign, it has been one step forward and two steps back for Gonzalo Pineda and his team, who are now four points behind FC Cincinnati for the final playoff spot in the East.

We have witnessed two different sides to Atlanta in the opening stages of an encounter this year. One where they fly out of the gate, scoring within the first 15 minutes on three occasions.

On the flip side, the Five Stripes have at times been asleep from the opening whistle, conceding five goals this season before a match was 11 minutes old.

Aside from injuries, one of the most significant issues plaguing them is how they defend dead ball situations, often being caught out of position and struggling to cover the open man.

Atlanta have trailed at half-time in four of their previous five domestic road fixtures, picking up a mere two points away from home when they are behind at the interval.

The Five Stripes have not lost consecutive domestic games since April, and that may be something Pineda will want to remind his players of, as they head into a tough stretch of matches, following up this encounter with a date at Yankee Stadium against the defending MLS Cup champions, New York City FC.

Team News

Health and safety protocols forced the Red Bulls to have Aaron Long, Luquinhas and Jason Pendant on the sidelines versus the Black and Gold, Andres Reyes was out with a foot injury and Lucas Monzon has not recovered from his pulled hamstring.

Wikelman Carmona remains out with a problem in his foot, while Dru Yearwood and Serge Ngoma both came on as substitutes last weekend despite previously suffering hamstring injuries.

Lewis Morgan leads them with seven goals domestically, while Omir Fernandez and Patryk Klimala are tied for most assists with three.

The injured list for the Five Stripes is a little longer after Brooks Lennon suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee before their match at BMO Field, putting him out for 4-6 weeks, as he joins Osvaldo Alonso (ACL), Dylan Castanheira (Achilles), Brad Guzan (Achilles) and Miles Robinson on the sidelines for the next little while.

Unfortunately for Pineda, that is not all the injuries that he has to contend with, as Andrew Gutman has a quad strain, Ronald Hernandez continues to deal with an MCL issue and Santiago Sosa has an illness.

Luiz Araujo had their only tally last weekend, moving into a tie with Ronaldo Cisneros for the team lead with his fourth, and Franco Ibarra picked up his first assist of the year in their previous encounter.

New York Red Bulls possible starting lineup:
Coronel; D. Nealis, S. Nealis, Edwards; Harper, Casseres, Amaya, Morgan; Fernandez; Klimala, Ngoma

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Rios Novo; Morales, Campbell, Franco, DeJohn; Hyndman, Ibarra; Cisneros, Rossetto, Araujo; Martinez