Atlanta United 2 fell 3-0 at Nashville SC Saturday night before 8,815 fans at First Tennessee Park. Despite the loss, three current Atlanta United Academy players saw the field, including 18-year-old midfielder Blake White, who made his professional debut as a second-half substitute while becoming the 32nd player to make an appearance this season for ATL UTD 2.
“It’s a frustrating one,” said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. “Coming out of our two-week break, we may have lost a little rhythm that we had going into the break, but no excuse. We definitely started slowly and it took us a little time to come into the match.”
Nashville opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Alan Winn collected a long pass from Kosuke Kimura on the right side. Winn dribbled into the penalty area and made a darting run toward the end line before sending the ball across the six-yard box where Brandon Allen tapped-in the opening goal at the back post.
In just his second-career start, 17-year-old goalkeeper Justin Garces came up with a highlight-reel save in the 31st minute to deny Nashville from doubling its lead. Allen struck a shot off the left post that Garces dove for, and the ball bounced back to Allen who then attempted to chip the ball in. Garces quickly jumped to his feet and dove back across the goal to palm the ball away.
Nashville found its second goal in first half stoppage time off a counter. Winn took a shot from the top of the 18-yard box and slotted it to the bottom-right corner. The home side added a late goal in the 84th minute when Lebo Moloto scored.
Despite not finding the back of the net, ATL UTD 2 created 11 chances while Laurent Kissiedou and Yosef Samuel lead all players in shots with four apiece. Samuel was the game’s leader with three shots on target.
ATL UTD 2 (2-8-5, 11 points) returns to action Friday, July 6 against New York Red Bulls II at 7:00 p.m. EST at MSU Soccer Park. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Atlanta 0, Nashville 3
First Tennessee Park
Shots: 12-12 Tied
Shots on Target: 5-4 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 4-2 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 8-6 Atlanta
Saves: 1-5 Nashville
Offside: 1-4 Nashville
Possession: 49-51 Nashville
Passing Accuracy: 83-85 Nashville
NSH – Brandon Allen (Alan Winn) 19’
NSH – Alan Winn (Lebo Moloto) 45+3’
NSH – Lebo Moloto (Ropapa Mensah) 85’
ATL – AJ Cochran (yellow) 88’
ATLANTA UNITED 2 STARTING LINEUP
Justin Garces; Jose Hernandez, AJ Cochran ©, Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Shawn Nicklaw; Kevin Barajas (Alessandro Castro – 66’), Oliver Shannon; Jon Gallagher (Blake White – 84’), Yosef Samuel (Lagos Kunga – 72’), Laurent Kissiedou; Devon Sandoval.
Substitutes not used: Paul Christensen, Will Crain, Chris Goslin, Jack Metcalf.
NASHVILLE SC STARTING LINEUP
Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura, London Woodberry, Liam Doyle, Justin Davis, Taylor Washington (Matt LaGrassa – 72’); Bolu Akinyode, Mike Reed ©, Lebo Moloto; Alan Winn (Ish Jome – 62’), Brandon Allen (Ropapa Mensah – 77’).
Substitutes not used: Micah Bledsoe, Ryan James, Robin Shroot, Tucker Hume.
Luis Guardia (referee), Tony Obas (assistant), Ryan Starr (assistant), Robert Mann (fourth).
- Blake White made his professional debut
- Kevin Barajas made his first start
- Justin Garces made his second start for ATL UTD 2 this season
- Alessandro Castro made his second appearance