This is the first in a series Peach and Pitch is calling “Quick vs.” It’s our immediate thoughts following the Atlanta United game, summarized in 500 words or less. Think of it as a teaser for the show to come. Feel strongly about an opinion we expressed? Leave a comment; we might just ask you to be on the show.
One time, Dubya said something like “Fool me once shame on – shame on you, fool me…can’t get fooled again.” The man loved twisting his own tongue, but this particular aphorism seems to perfectly describe the startlingly imperfect officiating Atlanta United has had to endure these past two weeks (some fans have made the argument that it’s been the story of our season, but I’m not sure we deserve to be that pessimistic).
For my part, I was upset that they even called the foul on Gonzalez Pirez, but for the ref to extrapolate straight to red was flabbergasting. Was it physical play at the back? Certainly. Was there an impediment? Not in my eyes. Two players went shoulder to shoulder and Mancosu lost, if not dove. Referee Alan Kelly defended his decision by calling it an upper body challenge leading to a DOGSO (Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity). I simply don’t agree.
The rational side of me wants to make apologist arguments ad infinitum: these things happen, everyone finds themselves on the wrong side of decisions now and then, it’s early in the season, etc. But being a man down completely deflated us in the second half. We did play solid, organized defense, but it seemed more out of necessity than by design. People have praised our attacking play, but I’m of a contrary opinion. Almiron’s second-half performance, while a definite showcase of his speed, was marred by several erratic passes and a lack of killer instinct in the final third (when we did manage to get down there). That being said, his assist to Kenwyne Jones was a beautiful cutting pass, and props to Kenwyne for exploiting the gaping hole in Montreal’s back line.
My takeaway from this game is that Josef Martinez cannot return soon enough. Overall, not a startling performance, especially given both the facts that we were playing with one hand tied behind our back and that the loss came down to a wild stoppage time goal, but by Jove, we’ve got to get our potency back!