Atlanta United vs D.C. United Preview: Atlanta looks to bounce back

After a 4-0 loss to Houston, Atlanta meets its fellow United team in D.C. United.

Atlanta United vs D.C. United Preview: Atlanta looks to bounce back
D.C. United looks to steal another three points from Atlanta. | Source: Jason Getz - USA Today Sports

In what’ll be a sort of a homecoming for D.C. United’s Yamil Asad, Atlanta United will host D.C. United in the second week of MLS fixtures. Both teams are looking to get their first wins of the year after Atlanta fell 4-0 to the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United drew Orlando City 1-1.

In Atlanta’s first season in MLS last year, they met with D.C. three times. Despite D.C. going through a horrendous season, the black and red took all three games despite Atlanta being in high-flying form going into those games.

Looking to Get on Track

Atlanta didn’t exactly start the season off like they’d hope to. A 4-0 trouncing at the hands of the Houston Dynamo came to the surprise of many, but it very well could just be growing pains. Losing a key player like Yamil Asad and not having Ezequiel Barco due to injury will damage the squad’s attacking abilities.

The visiting D.C. team got off to a good start against Orlando City, but fell victim to the dreaded stoppage time goal and drew the match 1-1. To be quite honest, that’s a fantastic result for one of the worst teams in the 2017 MLS campaign. The sting comes as all three points would’ve been a dream start for the capital club.

Keys to Win

For Atlanta, the biggest key to winning is remaining calm from the moment the game begins. The storyline surrounding this match is that they’ve never beaten D.C. United. Combine that with last week’s result against Houston, it won’t be hard for fans and media to start wondering if Atlanta will live up to the expectations set from last season’s successes. Atlanta has the luxury of playing at home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of an expected large crowd. The new and improved D.C. is still gelling together, so Atlanta will have chances to take advantage of miscommunications.

D.C. United can come in as the role of spoiler. To have the chance to not only get four points from the first two games a solid start but to put a preseason MLS Cup contender in a deeper hole is something that’ll motivate the D.C. team. The black and red showed good signs in its first match at Orlando, most notably the central midfield chemistry between Junior Moreno and Ulises Segura. New signing Yamil Asad found the back of the net in that match, but now he’s facing his old team. If Asad can get over the homecoming feeling and if D.C. rattles Atlanta’s momentum, Ben Olsen could see himself in a good position after the match.

Match Info

Date: Sunday, March 11th

Kickoff: 3:00 PM ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)

Referee: Robert Sibiga (POL/USA)