Atlanta United 2 fell to Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-1 at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. Justin Garces recorded a personal-best eight saves, while Tristan Trager picked up his first professional assist on a Darwin Matheus chip-shot goal.

Tampa Bay piled on the pressure in the opening stages of the match; however, it was Atlanta who opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Trager drove through the middle of the pitch on the counterattack, drawing in Tampa Bay defenders and clearing a path for Matheus to run through on goal. The Air Force Academy alumnus slid a pass through to the sprinting Venezuelan, who ran into the box and chipped a shot over goalkeeper C.J. Cochran, off the post and in.

The hosts found the equalizer in the 27th minute. Following a spell of playing around the Atlanta penalty area, a Sebastian Dalgaard cross into the box caused chaos before bouncing to Steevan Dos Santos. The striker from Cape Verde swept up the rebound and poked it beyond Garces to tie it up.

Dos Santos netted a second in the 38th minute. Leo Fernandes curled a cross to the edge of Garces’ six-yard box, where Dos Santos headed Rowdies into the lead.

Tampa Bay was awarded a penalty in the 67th minute after Fernandes was brought down in the penalty area. The Brazilian stepped up to take the penalty shot, which he placed to the right side of the Atlanta goal.

ATL UTD 2 (4-16-3, 15 points) returns to Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia to take on Las Vegas Lights FC for the first-ever meeting between the two clubs on Saturday, July 30 (7:30 p.m., ESPN+).


Tampa Bay 3, Atlanta 1

Al Lang Stadium

St. Petersburg, Florida


Shots: 29-7 Tampa Bay

Shots on Target: 11-5 Tampa Bay

Corner kicks: 9-3 Tampa Bay

Fouls committed: 11-10 Tampa Bay

Offsides: 3-3

Possession: 57-43 Tampa Bay

Passing Accuracy: 88-85 Tampa Bay


ATL – Darwin Matheus 14’ (Tristan Trager)

TBR – Steevan Dos Santos 25’ (unassisted)

TBR – Steevan Dos Santos 38’ (Leo Fernandes)

TBR – Leo Fernandes 68’ (penalty)

ATL – Efrain Morales 18’ (yellow)

TBR – Steevan Dos Santos 45+2’ (yellow)

TBR – Laurence Wyke 47’ (yellow)
TBR – Dayonn Harris 85’ (yellow)

Justin Garces; Luke Brennan (Toni Tiente – 78’), Noah Cobb, Nelson Orji, Raimar; Efrain Morales (Nick Firmino – 63’), Ajani Fortune ©, Tristan Trager; Darwin Matheus (Jonantan Villal – 69’), Jackson Conway (Bryce Washington – 78’), David Mejía (Erik Centeno – 63’).

Substitutes not used: Vicente Reyes, Alan Carleton.


C.J. Cochran; Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Nicky Law – HT), Jordan Scarlett, Aarón Guillén ©; Sebastian Dalgaard, Laurence Wyke, Lewis Hilton, Jake Areman (Dayonn Harris – 63’); Leo Fernandes (Junior Etou – 83’), Steevan Dos Santos (Kyle Greig – 53’), Jake LaCava (Sebastián Guenzatti – 63’).

Substitutes not used: Philip Breno, Ian Antley.


Amieel Aleman (referee), Miguel Martes (assistant), Charles Rupert (assistant) Alejo Calume (fourth official)


  • Tristan Trager recorded his first professional assist
  • Justin Garces recorded a personal-best eight saves
  • Darwin Matheus scored his second goal of the season