Atlanta United 2 had its four-match unbeaten streak snapped Tuesday night as the club fell 3-0 to Charleston Battery at Coolray Field. ATL UTD 2 featured a starting lineup with an average age of 21.1 years old, including two current Atlanta United Academy players in Kendall Edwards and Jackson Conway, who made his professional debut.
“We feel good about the work we’re doing and the development of these guys,” said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. “At the end of the day the results do matter to us, but also the development and the trajectory of these young players matters in the same measure.”
ATL UTD 2 dominated possession in the first half and created multiple scoring opportunities, but ultimately failed to find the back of the net. The 16-year-old Conway was involved in many of Atlanta’s chances including in the 23rd minute when Jose Carranza passed to the forward, who dummied his first touch and let the ball roll past Charleston defender Taylor Mueller. Conway caught up to the loose ball, took a touch and fired a low shot that nearly picked out the bottom left corner.
Despite out-shooting Charleston 10-3 in the first half with over 70 percent possession, the Battery found a breakthrough against the run of play in the 33rd minute. Moving from left to right on the edge of the penalty area, Ian Svantesson took a right-footed shot toward left post. His strike ricocheted off each post before ultimately being ruled to have crossed the line by the assistant referee. Charleston took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Gordon Wild, on loan to Charleston from Atlanta United, scored two goals in the second half to seal the victory for the visiting side. The first came in the 51st minute off a counter attack which began seconds after Lagos Kunga’s shot from a tight angle was denied by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky. Wild’s second goal was scored in the 85th minute after a goal kick was headed on by Svantesson. Wild fought for possession, ran into the box and slotted home a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner.
ATL UTD 2 (1-1-3, 6 points) returns to action Saturday, April 28 against Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7:00 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.