Defending Champions Aim to Get Back to Winning Ways

    Defending Champions Aim to Get Back to Winning Ways

    Atlanta United won the MLS Cup last year and are hoping to make a successful defence of their title in 2019 under the guidance of Frank de Boer.

    The club was founded in 2014, so they have enjoyed a rapid rise to the top and on Thursday 18th June Atlanta United will host Houston Dynamo at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the MLS.

    This is a cross-conference match meaning a game between teams from both the Eastern and Western Conference, so we should be in for an exciting encounter.

    Atlanta United come into the game in 4th place in the Eastern Conference. They have 30 points from twenty games played and that leaves them 6 points off the leaders but with two games in hand. However, recent form in the league has not been good and trends show Atlanta United have failed to win any of their last three MLS matches.

    They suffered a massive 5-1 defeat at Chicago Fire, which was a huge shock considering the position of both teams and then picked up a point in a thrilling 3-3 home draw with New York Red Bulls. There were two goals in added time, one for each team.

    Last time out, Atlanta United were defeated 2-1 at Seattle Sounders and will be glad to get back on home turf. Trends show Atlanta United are undefeated in their last seven home league matches and have lost just one of their last twenty at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  They have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven on home soil.

    Houston Dynamo are in a poor run of form and this is reflected in their position in the Western Conference of 8th place. They have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and one of the last eight in Major League Soccer.

    The only victory has come at home against New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo have lost four of their last five in the league. Trends show away form is dreadful and Houston Dynamo have lost each of their last seven MLS games on the road. In fact, they have recorded just three wins from their last twenty-five away league matches.

    Houston Dynamo have failed to score a goal in four of their last six away MLS games.

    Looking ahead to the team news and Atlanta United are without the suspended Jeff Larentowicz.  Ezequiel Barco is not expected back until the end of the month while there are doubts over the fitness of Florentin Pogba, Hector Villalba and George Bello.

    Houston Dynamo could travel with every player available. The only doubts are Memo Rodríguez and Eric Bird who have been suffering from a hamstring and ankle injury respectively.

    This is the game which should see Atlanta United get back to winning ways in the league. They should have more than enough to overcome a poor travelling Houston Dynamo team and could keep a clean sheet in the process.