There’s been no scarcity of rumored transfers, in and out, for Atlanta United. Heck, that’s been true from day one. However the big query heading into the 2021 season is how can the 5 Stripes put a disastrous 2020 behind them and return to their elite standing?
That’s a query posed on the latest episode of Extratime, one the Armchair Analyst, Matt Doyle, tackled himself.
To grasp the team’s wants in 2021, there must be a glance back at why 2020 was such a failure for Atlanta. The difficulty in attack was clear when former Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez was lost for the year following ACL surgical procedure. These goals just don’t get replaced.
With Martinez anticipated to be absolutely wholesome, Doyle said the attack needs to be just high-quality.
However the greater subject, Doyle argued, was the opposite side of the ball. The mixture of Eric Remedi (the topic of a reported departure) and Mo Adams struggled at defensive midfield, Fernando Meza wasn’t a like-for-like alternative for the departed Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Miles Robinson “regressed” after a Greatest XI season in 2019, Doyle said.
Atlanta conceded 30 regular season goals and had been a -7 in goal differential in 2020, finishing twelfth within the 14-team Jap Conference.
“I feel for Gabriel Heinze the main focus must be on fixing that backbone,” Doyle said. “In the event you’re poor at defensive midfield, or no less than beneath par at defensive midfield and center back, you’re not going to win many video games. A part of that’s higher general construction and a extra coherent one via 11 method, which isn’t one thing that they had under Frank de Boer at any point I don’t assume. The opposite a part of it’s just upgrading the talent.”
Which takes us to Heinze’s present scenario and myriad players (most from Argentina) linked with Atlanta United. The membership have signed veteran forward Lisandro Lopez as attacking depth and are reportedly concerned about young defensive midfielders Franco Ibarra from Argentinos Juniors, and River Plate’s Santiago Sosa and had been in pursuit of center back Hector David Martinez earlier than River swooped in with an offer.
Make certain to examine out the full dialogue on Atlanta’s wants for 2021 and the remainder of Tuesday’s episode.