While it’s well and good to watch teams play every once in awhile, have a couple players on your fantasy team, and hear what the pundits think about a team, it’s always nice to talk to someone who is an expert. Enter Haris Kruskic from Dirty South Soccer.
Burgundy Wave: Atlanta has a few guys that the Rapids should be worried about, and has only been held scoreless in two games so far this year. How can the Rapids stop or slow down the ATLUD?
Dirty South Soccer: Sit back and defend, it's really that simple. Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United have slowed us down quite well this season because they anchor down, allow us to keep possession, and then counter once we make a critical mistake. That's why the possession stat can be so misleading.
Atlanta will pass back and forth all match, but have a tough time breaking down an opposing defense when every player is behind the ball. And if the Rapids have as many usual starters out as it sounds like they will, we could certainly see this strategy implemented.
BW: I read on Dirty South Soccer that an issue the Five Stripes have is balance. How has that hurt them in games and how can they fix it?
DSS: In six matches we've played this season, we led and went on to lose points. Five of those six were ultimately losses. Even though defense isn't just played by defenders, it's pretty telling to see Atlanta take leads through our blistering attack just to see multiple goals given up later in the match.
Also, even though we've scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference, we've also given up the second most. That can be an incredibly frustrating pair of facts for supporters.
I really don't have an answer as to how it can be fixed, other than to not make poor passes from the back that allow attackers to make us pay. That's happened more times than I care to admit.
BW: With Brad Guzan coming in to Atlanta in July, Kann's days are numbered. It reminds me of the situation with MacMath and Howard for the Rapids. How do the fans feel about Guzan coming in?
DSS: It's a shame really, because Kann has done surprisingly well for us. He could've easily had a mindset of "I don't have to do well because Guzan is coming soon anyhow", but that's not the approach he took at all. Kann seems to know that if Guzan struggles early on in his Atlanta tenure, Tata Martino would certainly reconsider who starts in goal.
Anyways, aside from my rambling, the acquisition of Guzan in general hasn't been met with open arms by Atlanta supporters considering his poor form for Middlesborough and the fact that we used the first pick in the Allocation Ranking to acquire a keeper. But, alas. It is what it is.