Atlanta United FC Still Driving The Eastern Conference Train

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05: Forward Josef Martinez
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05: Forward Josef Martinez /

Atlanta United FC (9-3-3) drew in a heavyweight bout at NYCFC on Saturday. It was the latest in what continues to look like a fantastic season.

Traveling is one of those great things in life. Cars, trains, or planes, it doesn’t matter. New air. Old friends and family. Depending on the circumstances, it is a usually a pleasure. That said, it can get in the way of sports watching. Thus was the case on Saturday, for this writer, and our beloved Atlanta United FC. Naturally, the match was a fantastic one, and was the latest in what is looking like a special season.

There is no need to go through and recap a match that is 48 hours stale, at this point. In short, Josef Martinez scored his league leading 13th goal on a sick header from a sick pass from Julian Gressel. It was a “wow” moment. The rest of the match was dominated by NYCFC, the current second place team in the Eastern Conference, and were it not for the large heroics of Brad Guzan, the score would have been lopsided. And not in a good way. When they say Keepers should play “big”, that’s what they mean.

More from ATL All Day

A special Atlanta shout goes to the goal posts up there in New York, as well. They helped defend, at least, 5 or 6 would be goals that even Guzan couldn’t get. In fact, the match was so lopsided, NYCFC took 25 shots on goal to Atlanta’s 5.

But the stout play of Martinez, Guzan, and the NYC goal posts, kept The 5 Stripes to a draw, and subsequently, they maintained a two point lead over NYCFC for the year.

It’s matches like that one, on the road, against a very good team, that makes one take notice. Special seasons are sprinkled with those types of afternoons. In a season made up of 34 matches, and with 15 in the books, this season is starting to have that championship taste to it.

This isn’t to say that this is a prediction that our Atlanta United FC will win the Supporter’s Shield (for most points scored in a season) or the MLS Cup, but it isn’t a crazy notion.

Next on the schedule is the pebble in every other team’s sock right now: Columbus. Those dudes haven’t lost since April 21st. It’s the longest unbeaten run for an MLS team this year. They don’t win all the time, but they simply don’t lose, either. It’s at their place, and should feature another fierce match up.

The Atlanta Braves have sucked up a lot of the oxygen in the city, as of late, and rightfully so. They have reignited a love affair with the people of Atlanta with their winning ways. Folks are excited.

Next: Atlanta Braves Five Off-Season Free Agent Targets

Just don’t sleep on our Atlanta United FC. We’re almost at the halfway point, and, if this keeps up, they are possibly poised to produce hardware.