Atlanta United 2 fell to Bethlehem Steel FC Sunday night 4-1 at Goodman Stadium. Devon Sandoval scored his first goal of the season while three teenagers in Dylan Gaither, 17, Diego Lopez, 16, and Victor Pereyra-Zavala, 19, each made their professional debuts.
“To give early goals, you always dig yourself a bit of a hole,” said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. “But then at 2-1, I think we felt pretty good about things going into the second half. It was the third goal that really hurt us and made it difficult from there.”
The game started with winger Yosef Samuel suffering a high elbow from Bethlehem’s Brandon Aubrey just 90 seconds into match. Samuel was unable to return, and in the eighth minute, Gaither entered for his professional debut.
Bethlehem applied heavy pressure from the outset and broke through in the 16th minute. Matt Mahoney scored from a corner kick with a header at the top of the six-yard box to put Bethlehem up 1-0. Aidan Apodaca doubled the Steel’s lead in the 36th minute with a left-footed finish inside the penalty area after receiving a low cross from Brenden Aaronson from the right side.
ATL UTD 2 fought back in the 39th minute after Chris Goslin lobbed a free kick toward the left side of the 18 where AJ Cochran headed the ball back across goal for Sandoval, who headed a shot on target from the top of the six but had his attempt pushed over the bar by goalkeeper John McCarthy. Off the ensuing corner kick, Gaither out-jumped a Bethlehem defender and flicked the ball on for Sandoval at the back post. The striker jumped into an acrobatic bicycle kick which fired past McCarthy to make it a one-goal game. The half ended with Atlanta trailing 2-1.
Atlanta could not capitalize on its momentum as the Steel scored a pair of goals in the final 45 minutes. Faris Moumbagna scored his first professional goal to make it 3-1 in the 71st minute. Just 30 seconds later, Bethlehem struck again when Aaronson scored from close range. Lopez and Pereyra-Zavala came on as substitutes in the second half for their debuts.
ATL UTD 2 (3-11-6, 15 points) returns to action Saturday, August 11 against Charleston Battery at 7:00 p.m. EST at MUSC Health Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Atlanta 1, Bethlehem 4
Shots: 10-27 Bethlehem
Shots on Target: 4-10 Bethlehem
Corner kicks: 3-8 Bethlehem
Fouls committed: 11-14 Bethlehem
Saves: 6-3 Atlanta
Offside: 1-1 Tied
Possession: 42-58 Bethlehem
Passing Accuracy: 75-84 Bethlehem
BST – Matt Mahoney (Chris Nanco) 16’
BST – Aidan Apodaca (Brenden Aaronson) 36’
ATL – Devon Sandoval (Dylan Gaither) 40’
BST – Faris Moumbagna (Prosper Chiluya) 71’
BST – Brenden Aaronson (Faris Moumbagna) 72’
ATL – Jack Metcalf (yellow) 24’
ATL – AJ Cochran (yellow) 76’
ATLANTA UNITED 2 STARTING LINEUP
Mitch Hildebrandt; Jack Metcalf ©, AJ Cochran, Shawn Nicklaw, Jon Gallagher (Victor Pereyra-Zavala – 68’); Chris Goslin, Kevin Barajas; Yosef Samuel (Dylan Gaither – 8’), Alessandro Castro (Diego Lopez – 65’), Lagos Kunga; Devon Sandoval.
Substitutes not used: Paul Christensen, Nico Caraux.
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING LINEUP
John McCarthy; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; James Chambers © (Omar Holness – 74’), Drew Skundrich; Brenden Aaronson, Chris Nanco, Marcus Epps; Aidan Apodaca (Faris Moumbagna – 60’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Santi Moar, Michee Ngalina, Tonny Temple, Ben Ofeimu.
Eric Tattersall (referee), Szczepan Dziewa (assistant), Dustin Killick (assistant), Robert Ryan Sr. (fourth).
- Devon Sandoval scored his first goal of the season
- Yosef Samuel suffered an injury in the second minute of play, forcing 17-year-old Dylan Gaither into the match in the eighth minute to make his professional debut.
- Gaither recorded his first professional assist
- Diego Lopez, 16, and Victor Pereyra-Zavala, 19, made their professional debuts as second-half substitutes
- Alessandro Castro and Kevin Barajas each made their second start this season
- Mitch Hildebrandt made six saves, his season-high