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What to watch for against Atlanta United: Is Michael Barrios too much for Greg Garza?

Atlanta will take to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time this season

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The push for a playoff spot heats up for FC Dallas this weekend as they hit Georgia for the first time in league play to battle Atlanta United.

The first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Atlanta United will play their first home game in their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Sunday against Dallas. The stadium holds 42,500, with more seating on the way to hold 70,000. The stadium made headlines nationally with their low cost concession stand food and boast the “largest beer tap system in the world,” unfortunately the reasonably priced concession stand food of Mercedes-Benz stadium will forever be overshadowed by neighboring Turner Field’s Waffle House.

Ticket vendors list standing room tickets starting at 48 bucks, even though according to the club the game “sold out” on July 31st. Premature celebrations aside, the game is certain to be rowdy as the league leaders in attendance celebrate their new stadium.

Who did it better?

Both teams came back to draw 2-2 last week. Dallas salvaged a point with ten men against the Red Bulls. Jacori Hayes was sent off in the 37th minute and the Red Bulls took the lead at the end of the first half. Hernan Grana equalized early in the second half, but Red Bulls pulled ahead again just three minutes later. Before the dust settled Dallas won and converted a penalty to labor to a point.

Atlanta’s result may have been the same, but the context couldn’t have been more different. Atlanta were down 2-1 by the half time whistle, but a Joshua Yaro red card for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity left the Union in a lurch. Tyrone Mears’ header from 17 yards out in the 91st minute sealed the comeback for Atlanta.

Passing the eye test

After putting his injury-plagued career back on track with Atlanta United, many have called for Greg Garza to take over the left back role with the United States National Team. In his first year in MLS, Garza has recieved an All-Star nod and a handful of team of the week nods. This week he’ll be facing Michael Barrios who with his assist last week, is just one off of assist leader Victor Vazquez’s 14.

Watch the match up for yourself this week. Do you think Garza has what it takes to shut down Barrios or play for the National Team?