River hosted CA Atlanta (aka “The Bohemians”) at Vélez stadium Sunday because River’s home ground got mangled when a nasty rainstorm hit the city during a Foo Fighters concert. Lowly Atlanta, who are stuck in the bottom quarter of the table and previously lost to River 7-1 at home during the first half of the tournament, somehow managed the massive 1-0 upset which keeps River Plate in second place, four points behind Instituto.
You’re wondering, how did a small-time club from Argentina get named after a city in Georgia? Well, there’s two theories: the first is that the club was founded in 1904, a few months after an earthquake struck the city of Atlanta, GA, so the club took the name as a sort of tribute to the victims. Another competing theory states that the club was named after a US Navy warship that had arrived in the port of Buenos Aires to celebrate the election of Argentina’s president, Manuel Quintana. Regardless, Atlanta was a mainstay of Argentina’s top division until they were relegated in 1984 and never managed to make a comeback.
Getting back to River, yes they are still in second place, but now they’re tied on points with Quilmes. Remember, third place gets a promotion playoff spot, not an automatic promotion. The way things are shaking out right now, if River finished 3rd, they might have to play against San Lorenzo for promotion. That would be insane on many levels. But I digress.
Curiously, River has to play against Quilmes tonight for the Copa Argentina (a new Copa del Rey knockoff cup). River is determined to win this cup in its inaugural edition, but the competition is stiff. Meanwhile, everybody’s trying to figure out how to fix the team’s maddeningly inconsistent offense. Although Trezeguet has been doing better than anyone anticipated (peep this wonder goal from the previous week), Cavenaghi and Dominguez have been awfully quiet lately. Millos legend Norberto “Beto” Alonso says he’d like to see teen phenom Lucas Ocampos paired up front with Trezeguet. Some fans have called for the club to bring Aimar and/or Saviola home from Benfica. That’s pretty unlikely.
For tonight’s match, though, it looks like Almeyda is going with Funes Mori and Trezeguet. The former FC Dallas prospect has good scoring instincts but can sometimes disappear for lengthy periods.
This weekend, River gets 13th place Huracán at home. There’s ten matches left in the league. No need to panic. Yet.