Atlanta United continue a crucial stretch of home games Wednesday, when the New England Revolution visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a battle between two playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Wednesday’s match will be the second ever at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. United made their debut on their new pitch Sunday and put on a resounding show for the fans in a 3-0 win over FC Dallas. It was the first of six straight home games for Atlanta, which sits in sixth place, just above the red line on the Eastern Conference table with 39 points.
“We talked about how it was important to get a good result — a good positive performance — in the first game to start things off,” Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst told the team’s website. “We were able to do that so, hopefully, we can just build on it from there.”
The Revolution trail Atlanta by four points in the standings and will be looking for their first road win of the season. New England is coming off a 1-0 home win over Montreal on Saturday.
“We need an away win,” New England forward Teal Bunbury told the team’s website. “In order to make the playoffs, I don’t think it’s going to be possible for us to not have an away win. This is a great time to do that, in Atlanta, where they’re a good team and we essentially just need three points.”
Atlanta got goals from Josef Martinez, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Greg Garza in the win over FC Dallas.
“I think all the guys finished well,” Atlanta coach Gerardo Martino told the team’s website. “With everything that we have coming and the eight games in 23 days, I think the most important is the performance against an opponent that generally we were better than.”
This will be the first meeting between the two teams, and the Revolution are expecting a fast-paced game.
“They throw a lot of numbers forward and they go at a fast pace,” New England midfielder Scott Caldwell said. “We know we have to deal with that. Once we take care of them and their attack, then we can counter them and see the holes that they leave behind. But they’re a fast-paced team going forward and throw a lot of numbers into the attack.”