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Atlanta United's keys to face Toronto FC

Atlanta United is tenth on the Eastern Conference, occupying the last playoffs spot. They will face Toronto FC, the Eastern Conference leader.

Atlanta United
Atlanta United

Atlanta United, which comes from rescuing a point in the game against Inter Miami, will have to face the leader of the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC, next Sunday. Like in previous games, this one will also be played away from home but the particular detail is that due to the pandemic Toronto does not play home in Canada, but plays in East Hartford, Connecticut.

What will be the keys for Atlanta to beat the Eastern Conference leader? In first place, keep their solid defensive game. Atlanta United's defense has been consistent for most of the season.The 5-Stripes have the best defensive record in the second half of any MLS team. They have posted five clean sheets this season, with a total of 45 since they entered to the MLS in 2017, a league record since that year.

Atlanta should focus their defensive system mostly on one player: Alejandro Pozuelo. The Spanish midfielder from Toronto is the MVP front-runner and has scored eight goals and delivered 10 assists -most of his assists go to young American forward Ayo Akinola-. Keeping Pozuelo in check is an obligation for Atlanta. 

In the 4-0 win against DC United and in the draws against Orlando City and Inter Miami, Atlanta United has maintained an intensity that against Toronto FC could deliver great results. It's also one of the things that head coach Stephen Glass pointed out in the post-game press conference, when he was asked about what was his message to players at halftime.

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