Atlanta United fell to New York Red Bulls 1-0 in its opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. Although Atlanta controlled play throughout the game with a 14-4 shooting advantage, it couldn’t find an equalizer late in the match despite piling on pressure. The club will continue group play Thursday, July 16 against FC Cincinnati.
Florian Valot opened the scoring in the fourth minute, capitalizing off a slow-building counterattack. Kaku played Valot through just past midfield, where Valot was alone with only Guzan in front of him. After a few touches, Valot dribbled just inside the box and slotted into the left corner to give New York an early lead.
Atlanta had a chance to equalize late in the first half when Pity Martinez played George Bello in on goal. Bello ripped a left-footed shot past David Jensen, but it deflected off the crossbar to keep New York in the lead.
Atlanta controlled play for the majority of the second half and continued to knock on the door late, forcing Jensen to make four saves overall. Second-half substitute Adam Jahn had arguably the club’s best chance late in stoppage time, but his header was saved by a diving effort from Jensen.
Atlanta is now 0-1-0 (0 points) in the MLS is Back Tournament. The top two teams in Group E automatically qualify for the knockout rounds, while the top four third-place finishers will also qualify. Atlanta continues group play against FC Cincinnati on Thursday, July 16 (9:00 a.m., ESPN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game). In regular season play, Atlanta moves to 2-1-0, (6 points).
MLS is Back Tournament | Group E
New York Red Bulls 1, Atlanta United 0
ESPN Wide World of Sports Field 17
Shots: 14-6 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 4-4
Corner kicks: 34-4
Fouls committed: 13-11 New York
Clearances: 27-13 New York
Offside: 4-2 Atlanta
Possession: 69-31 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 83-60 Atlanta
RBNY – Florian Valot (Kaku) 4’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 42’
ATL – Pity Martinez (yellow) 45+3’
RBNY – Tim Parker (yellow) 90+5’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan ©; Fernando Meza, Miles Robinson, Franco Escobar; George Bello (Jake Mulraney – 72’), Emerson Hyndman (Jeff Larentowicz – 56’), Mo Adams (Eric Remedi – 81’), Brooks Lennon; Manuel Castro (Ezequiel Barco – 57’), Gonzalo Martínez, Matheus Rossetto (Adam Jahn – 72’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Brendan Moore, Anton Walkes, Edgar Castillo, George Campbell, Laurence Wyke, Jon Gallagher.
NEW YORK RED BULLS STARTING LINEUP
David Jensen, Jason Pendant (Marc Rzatkowski – 90’), Amro Tarek, Aaron Long, Kyle Duncan; Kaku (Alex Muyl – 58’), Cristian Casseres Jr., Sean Davis, Florian Valot (Jared Stroud – 70’); Tom Barlow (Omir Fernandez – 58’), Daniel Royer (Tim Parker – 90’).
Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Kendall McIntosh, Patrick Seagrist, Sean Nealis, Mandela Egbo, Christopher Leman, Ben Mines.
Allen Chapman (referee), Kyle Atkins (assistant), Jason White (assistant), Victor Rivas (fourth), Alex Chilowicz (VAR)
- Manuel Castro and Matheus Rossetto each made their first start in club history.
- It was George Bello’s first MLS appearance since October 6, 2018, when he became the became the sixth youngest player to score a goal in MLS history at 16 years, 257 days.
- Miles Robinson had a game-high 12 recoveries
- Fernando Meza completed a game-high 83 passes
- Meza also had a team-high four clearances
- Rossetto completed 83 percent of his passes (34-for-41)
- Brooks Lennon won 100 percent of his duels (9-for-9)
- Jeff Larentowicz made his 421st career MLS Regular Season appearance, second most all-time in MLS history among field players
- Larentowicz, despite coming on as a second-half sub, also had a game-high five interceptions