ATL UTD 2 (1-0-1, 4 points) vs. Penn FC (0-1-1, 1 point)
Talent: Jon Nelson (play-by-play), Jason Longshore (analyst)
In its inaugural road match, ATL UTD 2 took home a point against one of last year’s top USL teams with a 2-2 draw at Charlotte Independence Saturday, March 31. The average age of Atlanta’s starting lineup was 20.8, while Charlotte’s average age was 28.8. Head coach Scott Donnelly’s team featured four starters under the age of 20 years old while Atlanta United Homegrown defender George Bello and 2018 MLS SuperDraft pick Paul Christensen (GK) each made their professional debuts. Another Atlanta Homegrown Player in Lagos Kunga scored his first career goal with a remarkable individual effort in the 82nd minute to put Atlanta ahead 2-1, but Jorge Herrera equalized for Charlotte three minutes later in what was an entertaining, back-and-forth game. Bello, 16, was instrumental in forcing an own goal from Charlotte’s Jung-Soo Lee that put ATL UTD 2 in the lead in the 28th minute. Charlotte equalized in the 37th minute from Herrera.
Penn FC is coming off a 0-0 draw against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on March 31 at Highmark Stadium in the first edition of the 2018 Keystone Derby Cup. Penn FC struggled to produce quality chances, but a solid defensive effort and four saves from goalkeeper Romuald Peiser kept Riverhounds FC off the scoresheet. Penn FC’s first trip to Coolray Field marks the team’s third-consecutive road match to open the season while it searches for its first win of the 2018 season.