• Reviewing Atlanta United's games against Philadelphia

    By: Doug Roberson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


    Atlanta United will host Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the MLS playoffs Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 p.m. 

    Atlanta United advanced by defeating New England 1-0 Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Philadelphia advanced Sunday by defeating New York Red Bulls 4-3 in extra time in Chester, Pa.

    The two teams met twice during the regular season. Atlanta United went 0-1-1 with a 1-1 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 17. Philadelphia won 3-1 at Talen Energy Stadium on Aug. 31.

    Atlanta United 1, Philadelphia 1

    Ezequiel Barco's goal in the 70th minute offset one by Philadelphia's Brenden Aaronson in the 47th minute. It was this game in which manager Frank de Boer first noticeably changed the team's formation twice in an attempt to spark the offense.

    Atlanta United's starting lineup (3-4-3): Brad Guzan, Miles Robinson, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Julian Gressel, Jeff Larentowicz, Darlington Nagbe, Eric Remedi, Pity Martinez, Hector Villalba, Josef Martinez.

    Philadelphia's starting lineup (4-3-1-2): Andre Blake, Raymon Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner, Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Warren Creavalle, Brenden Aaronson, Cory Burke, Fabrice Jean-Picault.

    Atlanta United out shot Philadelphia, 12-11, but the Union put three on target to Atlanta United's two. Philadelphia won more duels, 49-47.

    Philadelphia 3, Atlanta United 1

    Atlanta United had already played seven games in the month. Josef Martinez struck first, but the Union tied the game from Brenden Aaronson. 

    With Atlanta United visibly worn out, Kacper Przyzbylko struck in the 86th minute and Sergio Santos Gomes followed with another goal in the 88th minute.

    Atlanta United's starting lineup (3-5-2): Brad Guzan, Jeff Larentowicz, Miles Robinson, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Eric Remedi, Darlington Nagbe, Julian Gressel, Dion Pereira, Emerson Hyndman, Pity Martinez, Josef Martinez.

    Philadelphia's starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, Haris Medunjanin, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson, Marco Fabian, Fabrice-Jean Picault, Kacper Przybylko.

    Atlanta United out shot Philadelphia, 14-11, but Union put 6 on goal to Atlanta United's four.

    Atlanta United won more duels, 71-60.

    This article was written by Doug Roberson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow Doug on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC.

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