Match Recap

Atlanta United records milestone goal, draws New York City FC 2-2 behind Nick Firmino equalizer


Atlanta United returned from the June international break to host New York City FC in some midweek Eastern Conference action. Homegrown Tyler Wolff scored the 350th goal in club history in regular season play and Nick Firmino scored a 95th-minute equalizer in his MLS debut, and Atlanta United played NYCFC to a 2-2 draw.

Atlanta's unbeaten run extends to seven matches, one shy of the club record of eight in 2018.

The 5-Stripes found themselves in a hole early -- 42 seconds to be exact. New York City FC caught the home team flat-footed in the opening minute, and Keaton Parks sent a diagonal ball to Gabriel Pereira on the right side of the field. Pereira put it away to give the visitors the early go-ahead goal.

Atlanta United answered quickly when a trio of Homegrowns connected to produce what was the 350th goal in club history in MLS regular season play. On the right side of their attacking third, Wolff played Caleb Wiley who then made a smooth backheel pass to Jay Fortune. The midfielder was brought down inside the box, but before he fell Fortune tapped the ball Wolff's way. The 20-year-old struck the ball firmly, at a difficult angle, to even the match 1-1 in the 11th minute. It was Wolff's fourth goal in his seventh MLS appearance on the season.

“For the young guys in the group and the team overall I think it’s important we can do this without our big guys," Wolff said. "We can continue to grind, learn and develop. It’s important to keep doing that.”

New York City FC scored their second goal of the match in the 56th minute. Pereira received a pass inside the box and slid a shot past Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan for his brace on the night.

In the final moments of the match, Atlanta United found the equalizer. Machop Chol, who came on as a substitute in the 63rd minute, played a short vertical pass to Brooks Lennon, who met the ball at the end line and lifted it across the box. Firmino, who entered eight minutes earlier as a substitute to make his MLS debut, finished it off with a header to equalize the match 2-2 in second-half stoppage time. The finish marked the first career MLS goal for the 22-year-old.

“It’s better than I imagined, really," Firmino said. "To come on for about 10 minutes, and then to score the game-tying goal as well. I’m very happy with the result.”

Atlanta United was somewhat thin Wednesday. Thiago Almada and Giorgos Giakoumakis sat out of the match. (Almada due to travel from international duty in Asia with the Argentina men's national team. Giakoumakis was serving a one-game suspension from yellow card accumulation. He was also called up during the FIFA international window.) Atlanta United was without Miles Robinson and Derrick Etienne Jr. who are currently on international duty at the Gold Cup. Robinson is also recovering from hamstring tightness that held him out of the United States win over Canada in the Concacaf Nations League final.

With the lean matchday roster Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda called on several of his young players. Noah Cobb (17 years old) lined up alongside Juanjo Purata at center back. Fortune (20 years old) made his second consecutive MLS start. Wolff, who scored three goals as a substitute coming into Wednesday's match, made the starting XI for the first time this season in MLS play. Firmino and Luke Brennan (18 years old) were added on short-term agreements and came off the bench late in the second half. The pair will be available again on Saturday when Atlanta United travels to take on New York Red Bulls.

"Kudos to the kids," Pineda said. "They did a great effort. Great fight. I really like what I saw."

Match Stats
Atlanta United 
New York City FC 
Shots on target53
Corner kicks51
Fouls committed 1411
Passing accuracy8785

Up next - Atlanta United travels to face New York Red Bulls

It's consecutive matches against New York teams for Atlanta United as the club continues its double matchweek. On Saturday, Atlanta plays New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. The Atlanta United Special Olympics Unified Team will also be traveling and will play before the first teams kick off on Saturday.

Leagues Cup

Leagues Cup

All of the clubs from MLS and Liga MX will compete in a completely reimagined Leagues Cup: an annual, month-long tournament that runs from July 26-August 25, 2024.

Resurgens Kit

Resurgens Kit

Blue is a nod to the renewal of Atlanta. Yellow represents Atlanta’s vibrant history and identity. This is Atlanta United's latest community kit.