Atlanta United takes 'major step forward' with Campeones Cup trophy

Atlanta United, the reigning MLS champion, rallied to defeat Mexico's Club America, 3-2, and win the 2019 Campeones Cup, the second-year competition pitting the MLS and Liga MX champions against each other.

The 40,128 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium watched the Five Stripes erase a 2-1 deficit in the second half with goals from Jeff Larentowicz on a deflection off an America defender and Josef Martinez from the penalty spot.

Late in the first half, Martinez had a chance to put Atlanta United ahead 2-1 but his penalty kick awarded on Video Review was saved by America keeper Oscar Jimenez.

Emerson Hyndman scored the opening goal in the fifth minute. Renato Ibarra equalized eight minutes, and America went ahead in the second half with a goal by Roger Martinez from close range off a corner kick.

Atlanta United showed off the depth that makes it a legitimate contender to repeat as MLS champion despite its early struggles. Coach Frank de Boer made five changes in the starting lineup from the team that beat NYCFC, 2-1, on Sunday. They included starting Alec Kann in goal, where he made four saves.

The title was the first for de Boer since he took over for Tata Martino.

“I'm very proud of what [we] showed today," he said, "because it was a difficult game. But if you see where we were at the beginning [of the season] and where we are right now, then we can say we made a major step forward. It's good for MLS and especially good for Atlanta United that we can compete against this kind of team.”

Tigres dominated Toronto FC, 3-1, to win the first edition of the Campeones Cup in 2018.
Aug. 14 in Atlanta
Atlanta United 3 Club America 2. Goals: Hyndman 5, Larentowicz 59, J.Martinez pen. 65; Ibarra 13, R.Martinez 57.
Atlanta United -- Kann; Pogba, Gonzalez Pirez, Escobar (Robinson 44); Pereira (Meram 66), Nagbe, Larentowicz, Gressel; Hyndman, J.Martinez, P.Martinez (Barco 90+2).
Club America -- Jimenez; Vargas, Sanchez, Valdez, Aguilar; Rodriguez, Ibarguen (Garcia 90+2), Cordova (L.Lopez 83),  Ibarra; R.Martinez, Martin (Benedetti 71).
Red Card: Club America -- Valdez 72.
Att.: 40,128.

8 comments about "Atlanta United takes 'major step forward' with Campeones Cup trophy".
  1. beautiful game, August 15, 2019 at 10:43 a.m.

    Kudos to Atlanta squad which played well. IMHO, Martinez and Barco do not bring the expected quality to the table. Not impressed with their decision-making and expected efficacy. BTW, the red card to America Valdez was not warranted.

  2. frank schoon, August 15, 2019 at 12:32 p.m.

    Nagby is improving. He doesn't run unless he's forced and when he does run it is to pass or run into an open space before passing. He is really coming along, de Boer has done a good job on him. 
    He made another nice outside of the foot pass with power around midfield. He just needs to work on his shooting for he had a couple of chances to shoot, instead he gave the assist.
    Happy to Atlanta play 5 other starters ..this will make the team more balanced....
    It was an enjoyable game to watch...

  3. Wooden Ships replied, August 15, 2019 at 5:50 p.m.

    Frank I’m hopeful for Nagbe and was for his inclusion back to the National team. However, I don’t see his desire to score. Which as you and I know is the most enjoyable part. Even skilled ball handlers and passers, I feel, must have a desire to put the ball in the net. He also seems like he’s constantly playing versions of Rondo. I did enjoy last nights game, they earned the win.

  4. frank schoon replied, August 15, 2019 at 6:20 p.m.

    Ships, what you say is right. There  were several occassions in the game where I was saying to myself "shoot the damn ball"...I don't get it. If we think that he lacks the drive to shoot, I'm sure de Boer or his coaching staff have noticed it as well and perhaps that's the next step for him to develop. That pass he gave to Larentowicz to shoot at goal, he could have shot that ball himself.
    I mean a guy his size should be able to shoot hard and not only that he has the advantage that guards him therefore allowing more time and space to shoot...
    The rondo situation isn't too bad...he is still a work in progress. He did have some shaky moments with Nagby in the latter part of the second half when Club America picked up the pace. He still needs learn to be quicker in smaller space but I did like he now employs 'turns' to avoid one on one duels which is new for I've never seen him do that before and I liked how he delayed the game with his dribbles near the end of the game.
    Like you ,I hope GB is noticing him for the NT. He is no longer the player that we saw playing for the NT awhile back.  
    I enjoyed the game although we won it the Mexican I still think is a cut better and therefore I give the de Boer a lot of credit....
    I just read that Ozil from Arsenal might be coming to DC United...they are in the talking stage...

  5. frank schoon replied, August 15, 2019 at 6:22 p.m.

    meant to say that Nagby has the advantage of never being guarded man to man thereby leaving him wide and as well as have the time and space to shoot the ball

  6. Wooden Ships replied, August 16, 2019 at 7:15 p.m.

    Yeah, he needs to be more dynamic with the ball. He’s always pretty much had soft feet, he just doesn’t know how to unlock space for himself inside 25 yards. And, true that he’s often unmarked in dangerous area’s. I can see how he can be useful for Atlanta, but we need better for the Nats. He, as much as anyone I can quickly think of, appears stuck in possession games. So, in addition to strikers, we have midfielders that have been coached (Rondoed) out of the scoring instinct. There are just so few quality attackers coming out of our youth development. Coaches have really screwed the pooch.

  7. frank schoon replied, August 16, 2019 at 10:47 p.m.

    You might be right about that Rondo thing....I didn’t tie the over use of it before.... That’s a good observation.
    Besides the over use of it , I’m not a fan of this particular game for a more technical reason which is so often the players stand around flat footed waiting for the ball to come and letting it ricochet hard off their foot. The game of rondo I prefer is the positional game 4v2, allowing at most 2 touches. Cruyff , like van Hanegem , stated this particular game  held all the secrets of soccer; he stated if you can play this you can play soccer.  
    This lack of scoring drive can also be contributed to van Gaal when he coached Ajax in the early 90’s.  This is also one of the reasons why Cruyff and van Gaal didn’t get along.  It was van Gaal who wanted total control , placing players on a string, reducing their individuality and creativity for the collective unit and place high priority on not losing the ball. It was he who brought about what you see so often today in soccer, the back passes, the square passes, defenders standing stationary receiving the ball, passing the ball back towards their own goal as compared to Cruyff’s /michells coached team that the ball goes quickly forwards, no back or square passes, etc.  Because of van Gaal success with Ajax for those few years in the early to mid 90’s, teams world wide began to follow this concept of lots of back passes,passes back to the goal,  don’t lose the ball, square passes.This resulted in players not positioning off the ball properly forwards to quickly  move the ball forwards in succession, and employ the third man for up tempo game.  This is why Cruyff stated that in the 70’s with Ajax and The Dutch team of ‘74 played the best soccer for the principles they employed are all still  used by the best teams in the past decade. 

  8. Bob Ashpole, August 15, 2019 at 1:11 p.m.


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