by Jason Longshore
1- After conceding a golazo to Leo Campana, Atlanta United dropped five on Miami in a 5-2 win yesterday at the Benz. It was the first time since the Portland win in March that Atlanta has scored five in a match. It was the first time ever that Atlanta recorded seven assists in a match. Thiago Almada set a new club record for assists in a season with his 15th of 2023.
(Photo credit: ATLUTD)
2- The assists were a key talking point coming out of Atlanta's win. The third and fourth goals were brilliant attacking sequences involving four different players in each move. The interplay from Atlanta United yesterday, bringing the ball forward from the defensive third to enter the attacking third, and then finishing off chances was incredibly impressive.
3- Other notables from yesterday: Brooks Lennon notched his 10th assist of the season, a career high for him in one year. This goes along with four goals. Giorgos Giakoumakis tied Hany Mukhtar for the lead in the Golden Boot race with his 14th goal of the season. Saba Lobjanidze had two assists as a substitute, the first player in club history to do that. 71,635 were on hand to see the match, the 8th largest regular season crowd in club history.
4- Speaking of that, and I talked about it on the Matchday LIVE from REVERB show yesterday, I still don't know why anyone would be clamoring for a SSS (soccer specific stadium) in Atlanta. Games like this have the potential to draw new fans and hook them for life. Crowds like that turn the heads of the mainstream media, the soccer world at large, and potential partners. Those of us in the soccer world have to seek growth and bring new people to the the community. We don't want to have a smaller stadium and make it more exclusive. It doesn't matter if you were there first or if you were there a long time ago if you aren't trying to grow the game.
5- The Eastern Conference table tightened up even more with yesterday's results. Orlando moved up to second with their late winner at home against Columbus, they've won four of their last five games. New England falls to third with their loss in Colorado, maybe too much bologna for the Revs last week? Philadelphia blew a lead to first place Cincinnati to draw 2-2, the Union are in fourth on 47 points. Columbus and Atlanta are in 5th and 6th with 45 points, the Crew have one more win so they hold the tiebreaker. Nashville has the bye this week, they're in 7th in the last full playoff spot. The wild card spots remain with Montreal and DC after both earned draws last night. No one outside the playoff spots made up ground with wins yesterday.
6- Kansas City jumped into a wild card spot in the West with their road win at Minnesota last night. Gadi Kinda's goal in the 84th minute was the different for Sporting. LAFC won El Trafico, their first win after three straight losses, to jump into second place in the conference. Houston blew a second half lead against the leaders St. Louis and had to settle for a draw. Vancouver moved up to fourth with their win over Toronto and San Jose moved into the playoff spots proper with a win at home over RSL. One more game to go with weekend, a win for either Portland or Austin would see them climb over Kansas City into the final wild card spot.
7- For the first time since the start of the Premier League in 1992, Manchester United has lost three of their first five games. Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton took a 3-1 win yesterday at Old Trafford. It's the fourth straight time that Brighton has defeated Manchester United. Erik ten Hag was asked if it was a crisis right now for the Red Devils, he said no but it's hard to argue with that at the moment. The Jadon Sancho soap opera is an unnecessary distraction, off the field issues with Mason Greenwood and Antony could reasonably be expected to be a distraction as well. Manchester United could be in 14th place at the end of the weekend.
8- Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a brace to help Inter decimate neighbours AC Milan 5-1 in Serie A on Saturday and continue their perfect start to the season. Inter have won their first three matches without conceding a goal are now two points clear at the top of the table with 12 points. Juventus, who beat Lazio 3-1 on Saturday, is two points back in second place. Milan are now in third before they travel to Real Sociedad in the Champions League on Wednesday.
9- Barcelona put on a thrilling performance to destroy visitors Real Betis 5-0 on Saturday and move to the top of the La Liga standings. Xavi's side moved up to 13 points from five games, one point ahead of Real Madrid who host Real Sociedad on Sunday. Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo scored their first Barcelona goals in the win.
10- Guillermo Barros Schelotto was let go as manager of Paraguay's national team after their slow start in World Cup qualifying. They didn't score a goal in the first two games, earning one point after a scoreless draw with Peru and a 1-0 loss at Venezuela. Schelotto won four of his seventeen games in charge. Paraguay is trying to get back to the World Cup for the first time since 2010 when Tata Martino led them to the knockout rounds.
11- Hank Williams, one of the greatest American songwriters and performers, would have turned 100 years old today. He was born on this day in 1923 in Alabama. His career was short but essential, he had massive hits as both a performer and songwriter. Hank tried to get his drinking problem under control, but career pressures, marital problems, and crippling spinal pain all contributed to make the binges more frequent. He sadly died before his 30th birthday. Your Song of the Day is one of the last songs he ever recorded, which went to #1 a few months after his death.