Atlanta United vs. NYCFC: Reviewing the 2021 games

Atlanta United midfielder Marcelino Moreno (10) dribbles the ball against NYCFC Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)
Caption
Atlanta United midfielder Marcelino Moreno (10) dribbles the ball against NYCFC Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Atlanta United and NYCFC, which will meet Sunday in the first round of the MLS playoffs, have met twice previously this season. Here’s how those games went:

NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

When: June 23

Where: Red Bull Arena

How it went: Playing without manager Gabriel Heinze, who was serving a yellow-card suspension, and striker Josef Martinez, the team played arguably its worst game to that point. The team rarely strung together any passes and put only three shots on goal from four chances created. NYCFC finished with 18 shots, seven on goal, with the winner scored by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the 69th minute.

What was learned: Giving up late goals proved to be a trend. That winner already was the fifth time that Atlanta United gave up a goal or goals in the second half that resulted in it dropping points. Stay tuned.

Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

When: Oct. 20

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

How it went: After a poor start, Marcelino Moreno scored in the 10th minute. Atlanta United then dominated the next 70 minutes until giving up a goal on a free kick by Gudmundur Thorarinsson in the 90th minute to drop two points. Atlanta United put more shots on goal, 7-4, and created three more chances than NYCFC, but failed to do the simple things to secure the important second goal. The team did limit the influence of NYCFC’s Maxi Moralez by man-marking him.

What was learned: After the game, Pineda talked about the need for the team to keep things simple in the final third when attacking. That would also be a theme in the final games. Atlanta United would go on to cough up points by giving up a late goal against Toronto two games later. It was able to keep its final two opponents, the Red Bulls and Cincinnati, from scoring late, to secure four points from those games.

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Atlanta United’s playoff schedule

Nov. 21 at NYCFC, 3 p.m., ABC

Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0

July 21 Atlanta United 1, Cincinnati 1

July 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Orlando 3, Atlanta United 2

Aug. 4 Atlanta United 2, Montreal 2

Aug. 7 Atlanta United 3, Columbus 2

Aug. 15 Atlanta United 1, LAFC 0

Aug. 18 Atlanta United 1, Toronto 0

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, D.C. United 1

Aug. 28 Nashville 2, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 3, Orlando 0

Sept. 15 Atlanta United 4, Cincinnati 0

Sept. 18 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

Sept. 25 Philadelphia 1, Atlanta United 0

Sept. 29 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 0

Oct. 2 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 16 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 0

Oct. 20 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

Oct. 27 Atlanta United 2, Miami 1

Oct. 30 Atlanta United 1, Toronto1

Nov. 3 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

Nov. 7 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 1

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