Coming off a historic win at Orlando City last Sunday, New York City FC looks to continue their momentum when they travel to a sold-out Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday to take on expansion Atlanta United, the last of four consecutive away matches.
The Blues (6-4-2, 20 points) are looking to build off of their 3-0 win at Orlando City last Sunday, becoming the first visiting team to win at the new Orlando City Stadium. David Villa scored on a penalty kick to open the match and sealed the win with a highlight-reel goal in the 82nd minute. Villa increased his tally to 49 since his arrival to MLS in 2015 and his penalty kick goal was his league-leading 13th since his debut.
The win is crucial, but NYCFC’s performance is worth watching. They looked the complete opposite of the lackluster effort they displayed last Wednesday in a surprising 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake.
“[Last Wednesday] we committed a big error in Salt Lake,” Villa said about the RSL loss to reporters. “But the team always responds well to a loss.”
The Blues can build upon wins just as well. Both of NYCFC’s three-match unbeaten streaks this season have come after losses, adding to the club’s confidence. They also defeated Atlanta, 3-1, May 7 at Yankee Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Atlanta United (4-4-3, 15 points) is also entering Sunday night’s match off a 4-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. However, the Five Stripes have cooled off since their hot start to the season, winning just twice since March 18.
Atlanta head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino will not be on the touchlines for Sunday match against NYCFC (5 p.m. ET, ESPN). He was ejected against Houston for kicking a ball onto the field must serve a one-match ban.