Atlanta United hammered by NYCFC

Credit: Kathy Willens

Credit: Kathy Willens

It’s unfair this early in the season to say Atlanta United is in crisis, but after Sunday’s 3-1 loss at NYCFC if is fair to say things aren’t looking as bright as they did a month ago.

The Five Stripes (3-4-2) have just one win in their past six games and the offense looked out of ideas for most of Sunday’s game. It was a part of the same problem that prevented it from rallying during last week’s 3-1 loss to D.C. United at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Goals from David Villa in the first half, and Rodney Wallace and Maxi Moralez in the second half were more than enough to cancel out Carlos Carmona’s first goal for Atlanta United on a cold, rainy day at Yankee Stadium and its bizarre, small pitch.

But the oddity of playing in a baseball stadium shouldn’t be the talking point from Sunday.

Instead, considered by far the better of the two expansion teams before the season, Atlanta United has the same number of points (8) this season as Minnesota United, which has seven points from its past four games while Atlanta United has picked up three points in the same span.

Grabbing points isn’t going to get any easier with games upcoming at Portland and then at home against Houston, which are among the best teams in the Western Conference this season, before hosting NYCFC.

Perhaps most troubling for Atlanta United on Sunday, even after it fell behind 3-1 and NYCFC could relax, Atlanta United still couldn’t consistently put enough passes together to get the ball out of its own half long enough to create more than two goal-scoring chances.

It’s a much different looking team than the one that blitzed Minnesota United and Chicago for 10 goals in the second and third games of the season.

Even in its most recent win, a 3-1 triumph at Salt Lake, the offense didn’t look as crisp as it once did.

The biggest difference has been the absence of leading scorer Josef Martinez, who hasn’t played since the season’s third game after picking up a thigh injury while playing for the Venezuelan national team in March.

He has resumed training, but the club hasn’t said when he may return.