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Mar 30, 2024 3:26 pm

Atlanta United inside the comforts of home against Fire

atlanta united

Home has been good to Atlanta United, through the early going of the 2024 season as well as in their history against the Chicago Fire.

Atlanta will look to keep that home advantage going when they host the Fire on Sunday.

Both of Atlanta’s (2-2-0, 6 points) wins this season have come on their home pitch, outscoring the opposition 6-1.

The team is also undefeated as the hosts in their history against Chicago, going 6-0-0 all time. Atlanta has struck early in the past against the Fire, scoring within the first 15 minutes in five of those six matches.

But while they’ve had success in the past, Atlanta knows it won’t be easy now.

“Their first press is pretty good. I think they press pretty hard at the start,” Atlanta United defender Derrick Williams said. “They’ve got some good individual players. … They’ve got a few new players and I think they look like a different team than last year.”

Atlanta United have allowed only four goals in their four matches thus far.

Atlanta, which is coming off a 2-0 road loss to Toronto FC, will have all players who were on international duty available, giving coach Gonzalo Pineda his first choice attacking group.

Giorgos Giakoumakis leads the way offensively for Atlanta United, with four goals in four matches. Only two others have scored goals; Thiago Almada and Saba Lobjanidze are tied for second on the team with a goal each.

After opening the season with consecutive losses, the Fire (1-2-2, 5 points) are unbeaten in their past two matches following a 1-1 road draw against the New England Revolution last week.

Chicago is tied for fourth most goals in MLS with nine but has struggled at the other end of the pitch, conceding 10, which is second most in the league.

“With the ball, there are moments when we break lines in our ability to progress the ball. I think we can be better, for sure,” coach Frank Klopas said. “… And without the ball, just stay more compact as a team. When we do that, I think we’re difficult to break through and difficult to play against.”

Held off the scoresheet in his first three MLS matches, Chicago’s Hugo Cuypers has started to find his form and the back of the net, scoring in each of the past two matches. He’s the first player on the team to score in consecutive matches this season and his two goals are tied for the team lead with Brian Gutierrez and Fabian Herbers.

–Field Level Media

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