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What we learned against Atlanta United: Takes from Twitter edition

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What can Twitter teach us about Dallas’ win over Atlanta.

MLS: FC Dallas at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

When you’re playing Atlanta United, things just feel a bit different. Sure, they’re a good team, but it’s the hype that comes with it that makes the games a special treat. It’s nice that matchup gets a bit more public attention, but the best part of playing Atlanta are the hot takes from Twitter.

In celebration of our victory, let’s harness some of that Atlanta United fan passion to break down the game.

Is Brek Shea ruining your team?

Is your National Championship winning team getting burned by their left back? Are you frustrated fan that you’re paying a 6’3” man with Premier League experience $700k to get sonned by a team that’s so young that they wouldn’t be able to pop champagne if they won a trophy? If so, you may have a Brek Shea problem.

FC Dallas made the most of Shea’s poor showing and hammered the left side.

Dallas’ key passes (yellow) and assists (blue)
MLSSoccer.com

They came into the game expecting to bunker down on the road in a 5-3-2, but were able to exploit Shea on the counter with Barrios’ speed. While Shea’s individually bad game made things easier for Dallas, the way they’re executing the counter attack right now (i.e. with the form Barrios is in) they’re going to give even the best fullbacks trouble.

Even with Cannon’s less aggressive role this season, the right side of Dallas’ attack has been incredibly effective. Barrios is a one man wrecking crew right now and Luchi has schemed around him perfectly.

The expert opinion: Not good

According to someone that knows more about soccer than the rest of us because they know that Hadley Stadium exists (can anyone actually confirm?), this was not a great game, but I have to disagree. This was about as indicative of the sport as it gets.

Dallas were out-shot 22-8 and out-possessed 71-29%. After grabbing an early goal they absorbed pressure and launched a few probing counter attacks, but mostly they defended like hell and held on for dear life. It was a stressful game to watch as an FCD fan, but they came away with three points because they did the most with what they had.

Maybe it was undeserved, but three points is three points. Undeserved points are always a bit more welcome than deserved ones. But what does “deserving” points mean anyway? As much as we like focusing on Luchi’s team dominating possession, possession alone doesn’t win games—finishing your chances does. And Dallas certainly did that well. Although, obviously not as well as Smethwick.

Call the burn center

Dallas players spent a lot of time on the ground this week, but I’m not sure diving is why. It was an ugly game and at times looked certain to spiral out of control. Dallas has a reputation as a team that’s willing to reinterpret the rules (Jesse has his time wasting, Ziegler loves his red cards, and Hollingshead still thinks he’s playing keeper and can use his hands in the box) to ensure a point (or three), but any manipulation of the rules this week was mutual. Both teams were trading blows and until late in the second half, the referee was letting them do it. We’ll call it a spirited game.

In a game where things quickly get out of hand like this one, it’s fantastic to see the young core staying so well composed. They had no problem taking on players individually and showing the rest of the league that reputation doesn’t matter as much as skill. But if Dallas keeps up performances like this, they won’t be able to draw from an underdog rep for long.


Did you catch any Twitter absurdity that you want to share? Does “deserving” points matter to you? Has Jesus fulfilled his prophecy as the Prince That Was Promised? Are you starting to think soccer isn’t as bad as you thought? I want to hear your thoughts and ridiculous homer takes in the comments.