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FT: Atlanta United 4-2 Toronto FC - Game thread, preview and how to watch

Can Toronto FC pick up three points tonight against a struggling Atlanta United side?

Jakheele Marshall-Rutty tackles Atlanta midfielder Marcelino Moreno during TFC’s last encounter in Georgia on October 30, 2021.
(Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Live Game Thread

FT. - Atlanta United 4-2 Toronto FC.

88’ - Purata makes it a hat-trick.

87’ - Westberg makes a point-blank save on Almada to keep the deficit at one goal.

87’ - Deandre Kerr comes on for Nelson.

83’ - Ifunanyachi Achara comes on for Akinola.

74’ - GOAL ATLANTA UNITED. Thiago Almada makes it 3-2 for Atlanta.

68’ - Doneil Henry comes on to replace Lukas MacNaughton. This is Henry’s 100th appearance for TFC.

67’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. FEDERICO BERNARDESCHI MAKES NO MISTAKE FROM THE PENALTY SPOT, HE SCORES FROM 12 YARDS OUT YET AGAIN.

65’ - PENALTY FOR TORONTO FC. Let’s see if the call stands this time.

62’ - GOAL ATLANTA UNITED. Purata makes it a brace for himself.

52’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. THE TWO STRIKERS COMBINE AS AYO AKINOLA STUCK WITH THE PLAY AND PUT THE BALL INTO AN EMPTY NET.

48’ - TFC almost tie it up immediately. A bursting run by Richie Laryea as he cut it the ball back to Jiménez, the Spanish striker put the shot just wide of the net.

47’ - GOAL ATLANTA UNITED. A header from Juan Purata puts the hosts up 1-0.

46’- A double substitution for the Reds: Jesús Jiménez and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty come into the game for Noble Okello and Criscito.

HT - Atlanta United 0-0 Toronto FC.

42’ - Mimmo Criscito using his veteran IQ to win a free kick, works every time.

38’ - After a lengthy review, the call has been reversed.

34’ - PENALTY TO TFC AFTER A HANDBALL IN THE BOX BY ATLANTA.

33’ - A powerful shot from Araujo is fired at Westberg who parries it away from danger.

21’ - A shot from Araujo is blocked by Okello and goes out for another Atlanta corner.

20’ - A shot from Santiago Sosa is blocked and goes out for a corner.

12’ - WHAT A SAVE BY WESTBERG, HE DENIES LUIZ ARAUJO FROM THE PENALTY SPOT.

11’ - Penalty awarded for the hosts after Shane O’Neill brings down Brooks Lennon in the box.

9’ - Atlanta come close to scoring the first goal of the match. Defender Andrew Gutman worked his way along the left flank and into the box, his swing at the ball went just over the crossbar.

1’ - And we are underway in Atlanta!

6:55 pm EST - Don’t forget to put your final scoreline guesses in our prediction league!

6:50 pm EST - Quentin Westberg starts his first match in net since July 13th.

6:35 pm EST - TFC are winless in their last two matches, their last victory was on the road in Charlotte where they came away with a 2-0 win.

6:30 pm EST - Toronto FC travels to Atlanta, Georgia for the first time this season to play Atlanta United FC. The last meeting at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a 1-1 draw, goals were scored by Luiz Araujo and Jordan Perruzza.


Starting XIs

Head Coach Bob Bradley makes three changes to Toronto’s starting XI after their defeat to CF Montréal on Sunday. Quentin Westberg starts as Alex Bono is dropped to the bench, Lukas MacNaughton comes in for Chris Mavinga, and Lorenzo Insigne misses this match as he is currently dealing with family matters. Mark-Anthony Kaye replaces the Italian, while Jayden Nelson moves to the wing.

Josef Martinez was suspended for one match by his club after an altercation occurred with Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda. Former TFC striker Dom Dwyer starts.


Match Preview via Adam Palermo

Toronto FC travels to face Atlanta United on Saturday evening, hoping to bounce back from a loss in the Canadian Classique.

That 4-3 defeat was a gut punch to say the least. Falling to your biggest rivals at home is never ideal. But, giving up a two-goal lead and seeing your playoff dream fade away is truly disastrous.

After going 4-1-3 in their 8 MLS matches before last weekend’s debacle, it seemed as though Toronto had turned a page. Unfortunately, the team seemed to fall back into old habits against CF Montréal. Sloppy defending, disappointing goalkeeping, and lack of industry all haunted the Reds, likely reminding fans of the team’s early and midseason form.

The Reds must shift their focus to their next fixture, which takes them to ATL. Toronto beat Atlanta United in their match earlier in the year, with a late winner from Ralph Priso separating the sides at BMO Field.

Bob Bradley’s group will be shorthanded for their visit down south, with key players being ruled out, and the status of others remaining unclear.

Chris Mavinga and Jonathan Osorio are out for Saturday, with Deandre Kerr also listed as questionable. Osorio will miss his fourth straight match, having not featured for his club since the 2-1 loss to Inter Miami on August 20. Lukas MacNaughton is likely to start alongside Shane O’Neill in place of Mavinga, who was subbed out of the Montreal game at halftime.

The availability of the three Italians on TFC’s roster also remains unclear for the contest with Atlanta. Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito missed Thursday’s training due to a family matter that Insigne is dealing with. Federico Bernardeschi worked out on his own that day according to Bradley.

Mark-Anthony Kaye could make his way back into the starting lineup after playing off the bench last time out in his return from injury. The Canadian international has only started three matches for Toronto FC, with his last coming against Charlotte FC on July 23rd.

Finally, Alex Bono might be benched in favour of Quentin Westberg after Bono’s substandard derby day performance. Bradley seemed less than pleased with the American shot-stopper’s recent displays when speaking after the match against Montreal.

Atlanta United come into Saturday’s matchup in uninspiring form. The Five Stripes have collected one win in their past six matches, losing their last two. They are set to miss out on the playoffs for just the second time in the young franchise’s history.

To make matters worse, Josef Martinez, the club’s all-time leading scorer, will miss out on the chance to play against TFC. The Venezuelan striker was suspended for a week by his club due to conduct detrimental to his team.

The 2018 MLS MVP has failed to hit the heights of previous league campaigns, with head coach Gonzalo Pineda not trusting him with many starts. He still leads his team with eight goals in 12 league starts.

In Martinez’s place, Ronaldo Cisneros has had to step up to the plate and carry the load. The Mexican has started the past 12 games for Atlanta United and will likely keep that trend going against Toronto FC on Saturday.

Martinez’s peripheral role, as well as long-term injuries to goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Miles Robinson, have kept Atlanta from competing with the best in MLS this season. They can find some positives in what has been a bleak season by surpassing Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference standings if they win against the side that got the better of them in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.


Match Details

Opponent: Atlanta United

Time: 7:30 p.m. EST

Watch: TSN

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA.