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Giorgos Giakoumakis named to MLS Team of the Matchday as he climbs to No. 2 in Atlanta United scoring history

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Atlanta United got their second win of the year, and first clean sheet, with a 2-0 victory over Orlando City SC. The team’s second goal of the night from Giorgos Giakoumakis in the 71st minute sealed the win for the club. With that goal, he became the second highest scorer in Atlanta United history in all competitions with 23 goals, behind Josef Martínez.

Giakoumakis's capacity to break open a game also landed him on this week's MLS Team of the Matchday the league announced Monday, which puts Atlanta's star striker alongside the best the league has to offer for the second straight week. Coming off a hat trick in the home opener of the season and being named of the MLS Player of the Matchday, Giakoumakis continues his impressive start to the 2024 season.

The strong offensive start for Giakoumakis comes as no surprise to those who know the scoring prowess he possesses, but other aspects of his game have elevated to complement his ability to score goals.

“The way I rate GG [Giorgos Giakoumakis] is not only for his ability to score goals,” said head coach Gonzalo Pineda during his press conference following the win over Orlando. “We know he can do that even if he closes his eyes. He will score goals this year. But the defensive phase - how he is pressing, how he is chasing, and how he is starting, at times he will run past some midfielders or wingers to do all that effort. That is massively important to me.”

Giakoumakis has expressed his desire to win the Golden Boot this season, on top of helping Atlanta United land in the top four in the Eastern Conference at the end of the regular season. In 2023, he only finished three goals shy of the Golden Boot winner just as Atlanta United finished ranked second in MLS in goals scored (66).

With his goal Sunday night, Giakoumakis regained a share of the lead in the race for the Golden Boot heading into the March FIFA international window where he will join the Greece men's national team. If he continues this trajectory in MLS play, it's safe to say that both Giakoumakis and Atlanta United as a club are in good positions to reach their objectives, especially if they continue to keep teams off the scoresheet like they did Sunday night.

“I am very happy. I told that to the players, that clean sheets are super important for us,” said Pineda. “We need to continue to that habit, especially on the road. It will help us get points.”

The 5-Stripes will be back on the road for their next match when they take on Toronto FC on Saturday, March 23.

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