Reviewing Atlanta United’s season: central midfielders

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

With Atlanta United’s season over, the reshaping of the roster will begin soon under Vice President Carlos Bocanegra.

It wasn’t the season many anticipated. The team missed the MLS playoffs for only the second time in six seasons, and injuries decimated the lineup.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is continuing to take a position-by-position look at the roster over the coming days.

Reviewed so far:

Goalkeepers

Centerbacks

Fullbacks

This installment looks at the central midfielders. It was an uneven season for most. Too often there wasn’t enough offense. At the same time, there were defensive lapses. The group wasn’t helped by numerous injuries that made finding a consistent set of starters very difficult. (Stats provided by fbref.com.)

Ozzie Alonso

He appeared in four matches, including four starts. The team was counting on his experience and leadership to help a mostly young group of midfielders. He suffered a torn ACL that ended his season at D.C. United.

Assists: Zero

Expected assists: 0.0

Passing percentage: 88.3

Key passes: One

Progressive passes: 17

Tackles/tackles won: 10/3

Successful pressure percentage: 20.3 (The Red Bulls lead the league at 31.1%)

Interceptions: Six

Number of times dispossessed: Two

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Santiago Sosa

He underwent surgery in December, resulting in him missing training camp. He returned, but sustained another injury. He appeared in 21 matches, including 15 starts. He returned for the season’s final one-third. He was often tasked with playing as a single defensive midfielder, a position that he played at River Plate. His inexperience would sometimes show in his late tracking of runners.

Assists: Zero, but did score one goal.

Expected assists: 0.0

Passing percentage: 85.1

Key passes: 19

Progressive passes: 99

Tackles/tackles won: 27/9

Successful pressure percentage: 27.8

Interceptions: 28

Number of times dispossessed: 10

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Matheus Rossetto

He appeared in 24 matches, including 19 starts. He’s a player who divides opinion because he doesn’t like to take too many chances with his passes. He has one assist in his career with the team, and it was the result of an opponent turnover that bounced off his shin and to a teammate.

Assists: One

Expected assists: 0.06

Passing percentage: 91

Key passes: 11

Progressive passes: 93

Tackles/tackles won: 22/5

Successful pressure percentage: 29.3

Interceptions: 22

Number of times dispossessed: 28

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Amar Sejdic

Perhaps the team’s most consistent performer in midfield because he often would take the ball, turn, and advance it with passes. He formed a good partnership with Sosa.

Assists: Two

Expected assists: 0.07

Passing percentage: 86.5

Key passes: 11

Progressive passes: 60

Tackles/tackles won: 30/18

Successful pressure percentage: 30.6

Interceptions: 24

Number of times dispossessed: 18

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Franco Ibarra

He appeared in 20 matches, including 11 starts. The team sees him as a central midfielder, but he appears better equipped as a defensive midfielder. He isn’t fast. If his positioning wasn’t spot on, he often was played around by opponents. Still, he has potential. He just needs consistent minutes.

Assists: One

Expected assists: 0.09

Passing percentage: 82.3

Key passes: 10

Progressive passes: 33

Tackles/tackles won: 40/19

Successful pressure percentage: 29.2

Interceptions: 18

Number of times dispossessed: 12

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Emerson Hyndman

He appeared in nine matches, including two starts. He was brought along slowly after recovering from a torn ACL sustained during the middle of the 2021 season. After he returned to action, he sustained a quad injury that didn’t appear to be serious but ended his season.

Assists: Zero

Expected assists: 0.0

Passing percentage: 90.5

Key passes: Two

Progressive passes: 20

Tackles/tackles won: 4/3

Successful pressure percentage: 33.9

Interceptions: Seven

Number of times dispossessed: Zero

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 0

Sept 17 Atlanta United 0 Philadelphia 0

Oct. 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 9 NYCFC 2, Atlanta United 1