July 13, 2022 Sports Review
Atlanta United will be seeking to turn things around when they host Real Salt Lake to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their Major League Soccer match on Thursday.
Only two of the hosts’ last seven home games have resulted in victory, while only one of the visitors’ last eight away games have.
Real Salt Lake
Atlanta’s recent bad form continued the previous Saturday as they were defeated 3-0 by Austin at home.
Despite having 63 percent of the game’s possession, Felipe Martins, Ethan Finlay, and Sebastian Driussi goals handed the Five Stripes their eighth league defeat of the season.
The club of Gonzalo Pineda, which has only triumphed in two of its previous thirteen MLS contests, is currently ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points behind Cincinnati in seventh place, which holds the final playoff spot, and three points above the bottom-dwelling Chicago.
Atlanta will need to improve their defense if they want to play better in the coming weeks, as they have conceded at least twice in seven of their last eight MLS games.
They did, however, keep a clean sheet in their lone previous home game, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-0. Real Salt Lake had an impressive streak of five wins in seven league games from April 30 to June 19, but they have since lost all three of their games, including last weekend’s 2-2 tie with Colorado Rapids.
Following goals from Justin Meram and Jefferson Savarino in the closing six seconds of the first half, RSL had a two-goal lead. However, Colorado rallied to earn a draw after Diego Rubio’s penalty in the 67th minute with the help of Lalas Abubakar’s goal in the 89th.
Pablo Mastroeni’s team, which is third in the Western Conference at the moment, will have been frustrated to only have picked up a point because they have now fallen nine points behind league leaders Los Angeles FC.
Similar to Atlanta, Real Salt Lake has had trouble on defense recently as they have allowed goals in 10 of their last 12 MLS games, including at least two goals six times.
The most recent encounter between RSL and Atlanta ended in a 2-1 victory for RSL at home in May 2019 thanks to goals from Sebastian Saucedo and Savarino. RSL lost to Atlanta in their first two meetings.
In the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, goals should be expected given that both Atlanta and Real Salt Lake have shown defensively flimsy.
On Thursday, both teams will be aiming for a perfect score, but we predict a thrilling victory for the visitors.