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Oppo Research: 5 Things about Atlanta United

Rob Usry of Five Stripe Final tells us why optimism is running high in Atlanta, and why journeyman defender Derrick Williams is a key to the team allowing just 4 goals in 5 games.

The 31-year-old journeymen Derrick Williams is proving to be Atlanta's defensive anchor | Courtesy Atlanta United

In this edition of Oppo Research, Hudson River Blue spoke with Rob Usry of Five Stripe Final to learn more about Atlanta United, New York City FC's opponent on Saturday. Here is your NYCFC vs Atlanta United preview.

1. Optimism is building

Hudson River Blue: Atlanta has started the season somewhat inconsistently, but it is coming off a 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire. After falling to Columbus in the first round of the playoffs, what are the club’s expectations this season?

Rob Usry: The early record is a bit misleading. One of the losses came against Columbus away from home to open the season. A valiant effort that fell short. The other loss occurred with the starting lineup ravaged by the international window. Overall, I’d say Atlanta fans are very pleased with the way the season has started. The optimism has been building since last summer with the roster being steadily improved upon. This has raised the bar for the minimum expectations for this season. Anything worse than a top-four finish in the East and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs would be a massive disappointment for the club and its fans.

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