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  • Writer's pictureTristan Figueras

MLS Match Recap: Minnesota United vs Atlanta United (5/4/24)

Updated: May 9

Hello everyone and welcome to Early Doors Football! For this week’s match recap, we turn our focus to Atlanta once again, where they welcomed Minnesota United. The Loons picked up a big 3 points away from home, which continues their strong form under Eric Ramsay. Let’s jump right in.


Since the last time we checked in on Atlanta, they have had a handful of injuries. Xande Silva missed this match due to injury, which is a real loss on the wing. It is also a different center back pairing, with Cobb (only 18 years old) and Abram stepping in. 

Standard lineup for Minnesota, but worth noting they have been without Reynoso all season. Nothing new, as it felt like he always began the season on the run, before crawling back and apologizing. This time, it looks like the bridge cannot be repaired.

Small shout out to former SAFC player Oluwaseyi, who is the Loons top scorer. Really fun player to watch; I’ll touch on him more later. 

Minnesota United in Possession:

As they tend to like it, most opportunities came from counterattacks for Minnesota. Despite being third bottom in the league in passes completed per 90, they are still fourth for shots on target per 90, so this is nothing new for them (FBref). 

They set up in a 3-4-3 in possession, which flows nicely into a 5-4-1 out of possession. Minnesota held a very low 31% possession in this match; so there was not much by way of building up from midfield. Lots of brief counter-attacks, most of which were nullified quickly.

Striker Oluwaseyi is key to this, as he is eager to run behind and stretch the game. His goal came from a successful high press, but he was constantly ready to run the channel. 

The Loons’ two goals came from a corner and high press (thanks to a loose pass), so this will leave Atlanta rather frustrated. I do not think they created much outside of these chances, so to concede from two very preventable opportunities is tough to take. 

Atlanta United in Possession:

When you concede two poor goals, especially against a team as defensively solid as Minnesota United, you are not setting yourself up for success. Even when momentum shifted following Atlanta’s goal, they were not able to capitalize on any chances. 

As seen above, Atlanta maintained the same tendencies we saw in our last match recap on Pineda’s squad. Lennon pushing high into midfield is slightly less frightening as Minnesota has a back five, so they are not overloaded numerically. 

Despite Almada’s seven shot creating actions, Atlanta lacked conviction in front of goal. In fairness to Minnesota, they were resolute, especially in the box. Taking a look at the shot map, it looks like Atlanta got into great positions. They did, but many of the closest shots were blocked by defenders, doing everything to prevent a goal.

Atlanta has underperformed their expected goals value this season, which may start to raise some minor concerns. Giakoumakis has overperformed, which is expected for a player of his caliber, but the supporting cast has not been as efficient in front of goal. 

(Shot map from FBref)

Closing Thoughts:

After a winless month of April, this loss will sting for Atlanta United, especially at home. It’s a US Open Cup week, so Charlotte Independence is up next (as I am writing, they look to be on their way to a victory). The next MLS match sees DC United making the trip to Georgia; Benteke certainly isn’t the man you want coming to town when you are in a slump.

Minnesota United welcomes the LA Galaxy next week, which should be a very exciting matchup. An early Western Conference clash, with two of the in-form teams coming together.

That is all for today, thank you as always for the support. If there’s any feedback, feel free to reach out. Thanks again and have a great day. 

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