Atlanta United lost 1-0 at home to Toronto FC on Sunday night thanks to a Pablo Piatti's goal in the 89th minute. But despite that, for the Five Stripes lined up several Designated Players for the first time after several games. They seemed somewhat competent on the offensive side of the field.
One of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, for Atlanta's improvement was the return of Ezequiel Barco. In the first half there was no showy game but with the entrance of the former Club Atletico Independiente from Argentina the team was different. To Barco's entry, we must add the entry of Marcelino Moreno, who together brought danger to Toronto's goalie.
When Ezequiel Barco and Marcelino Moreno stepped onto the field to open the second half, the tone of the game changed dramatically. Atlanta for the first time in a while began to look like a threat to do something on the offensive side, unlike what they have done for most of the season. They didn't create too many scoring opportunities but the best offensive moment was thanks to the interaction between Barco and Moreno.
Moreno is a versatile and skillful player who adds a reassuring influence in midfield, something they Atlanta United was looking for and finally got. Barco was Barco on his return, contributing to the overall quality of the team when on the field. For 45 minutes, the renewed Atlanta team went head-to-head with the leader of the Eastern Conference. If Toronto wouldn't have been lucky enough to find the goal late in the game, the draw would have been the fairest result.