It was a highly anticipated matchup between Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders on Saturday, marking the first time Gonzalo Pineda faced his former team since becoming the head coach of Atlanta United -- and the match didn't disappoint. With a stoppage-time goal from Andrew Gutman, Atlanta United beat Concacaf Champions League winners Seattle Sounders 2-1 to pick up three points and send off president Darren Eales with a win on his birthday at his final match.
First half – Ronaldo Cisneros scores for Atlanta United, Caleb Wiley records first career assist
For the starting XI, head coach Gonzalo Pineda went with the same 11 he started the second half last weekend against Chicago Fire. Defender Aiden McFadden got the start on the backline for the injured George Campbell.
The first 10 minutes of play were fairly quiet with both teams possessing and feeling out the match. Then in the 11th minute, Atlanta United had a golden opportunity. Matheus Rossetto slipped a brilliant ball to Ronaldo Cisneros who was making a run behind Seattle’s backline. Cisneros received the pass in front of goal, but his shot went straight to goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
In the 19th minute, Atlanta United defender Caleb Wiley was bringing the ball up the field with the dribble and collided hard with Seattle defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade. The two players were down for several minutes, but both were able to continue. Atlanta was awarded a direct free kick but couldn’t get anything out of it.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Wiley sent a ball up left flank to Araújo. Araújo’s low cross from the end line made it through the box and found Cisneros on the far side wide open. His shot was on goal, and survived a Seattle defender’s deflection, to put Atlanta United ahead 1-0.
The goal was Cisneros’s seventh goal on the season which now leads the team. Araújo and Wiley were both credited with the assist, which meant the first career assist for 17-year-old Wiley.
Seattle got a chance in the 32nd minute but came up empty. Midfielder Alex Roldan sent in a cross from the right side and forward Jordan Morris connected and put a header on goal. Goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo came up with a big save, with some help from the post, to preserve Atlanta United’s first-half clean sheet.
Toward the end of the half, midfielder Marcelino Moreno replaced Rossetto.
Second half – Seattle Sounders equalize, Edwin Mosquera makes his debut, Andrew Gutman delivers game-winner
Pineda made his first second-half substitution in the 65th minute, sending on Franco Ibarra for Cisneros.
In the 68th minute, Seattle equalized. A short cross from the end line found midfielder Cristian Roldan inside a crowded box. Ibarra initially slid to block the first shot, but the rebound returned right to Roldan in the center of the box. The second time, he didn’t miss and evened the match at 1-1.
Edwin Mosquera made his club debut, coming on as a substitute in the second half. The Colombian winger signed with Atlanta United during the secondary transfer window and joined the club this past week. He entered the match for McFadden. Defender Andrew Gutman also came on as a second-half sub, replacing Santiago Sosa.
Supporters got a look at Mosquera's speed when he was part of a great look for the home side. Atlanta's backline cleared the ball from a Seattle corner kick, creating a fast transition play. Thiago Almada pushed the ball up-field and found Mosquera’s run. The winger tried to get the ball back to Almada near goal, but his pass went a little too far and Seattle’s goalkeeper snatched it up.
Then, it was Gutman’s moment. During second half stoppage time, the defender received a pass from Moreno well outside the box. He squared up and cracked a shot. The left-footed strike sailed into the upper right corner without a contest from the keeper.
The goal was Gutman's first for Atlanta United and his first MLS goal since October 2021. The game-winner sealed three big points for Atlanta United and the club's first-ever win over Seattle in the fifth all-time meeting. The three points bring Atlanta one point off the Eastern Conference playoff line heading into the Saturday night.
Up next – Atlanta United back on the road
Atlanta United’s next match is on the road against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, August 13. Then, the club returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face off against the New York Red Bulls. Secure your seat and be part of the rowdy and proud on match day!