180831_Castro_UTD2Preview

Match Preview: Atlanta United 2 vs Toronto FC II

Atlanta United 2 returns to action on Friday, Aug. 31 when it faces Toronto FC II at Lamport Stadium. The match is scheduled to kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

ATL UTD 2 heads to Toronto Friday after coming off a thrilling home draw against Indy Eleven Saturday, Aug. 25. Trailing 1-0 in second-half stoppage time, Atlanta United Academy product Dylan Gaither scored his first professional goal in the 90+6 minute to equalize. The 18-year-old midfielder intercepted a headed back pass, took a touch around Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams and slotted the ball into the back of the net to hand Atlanta a point. Fellow Academy players Natnael McDonald and Luke Mitchell each made their USL debuts.

Toronto FC II took down the defending USL champions Louisville City at Louisville Slugger Field 4-1 Tuesday, Aug. 28. A brace from Tsubasa Endoh along with tallies from Malik Johnson and Dante Campbell gave TFC II its first road win of the season.

Both sides first met at Coolray Field May 16 in a back-and-forth battle which saw Atlanta emerge 5-4 victors. Mikey Ambrose scored a pair of left-footed free kicks in the first half, his first two professional goals, while Romario Williams, Jon Gallagher and Brandon Vazquez all scored to outlast Toronto.

Friday’s matchup presents two of the youngest sides in the USL. The average age of each player with an appearance for ATL UTD 2 is 21.7 while TFC II is slightly younger at 20.7. Atlanta has seen 10 current Academy players make their USL debuts this season and 18 teenagers have played for the club, 11 of which have started.

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