Atlanta United 2 drew 1-1 with Penn FC Saturday evening to continue their run of form (one win, two ties, no losses). For the third consecutive match, a new player made their professional and club debut as ATL UTD 2’s lineup presented an average age of 21.2, including 17-year-old center back Kendall Edwards from Atlanta United’s academy.
“I’m happy with the response, but we’re no happier with a tie than we were last week,” said United 2 manager Scott Donnelly. “We played part of the game and we need to play a whole game. The silver lining is they showed a lot of toughness, they showed the ability to come from a goal down to get a point.”
After a slow start to the first half, a breakthrough came in the 31′ after ATL UTD 2 goalkeeper Nico Caraux cleared a back pass. The clearance fell to the feet of Penn FC’s Dan Metzger, who quickly played a long ball into the box. Richard Menjivar laid it off to Thomas Heinemann at the edge of the penalty area where he one-timed a left-footed shot into the back of the net to put the visitors up 1-0.
ATL UTD 2 came out of the break and found their first goal in the 63′. Winger Lagos Kunga won a tackle in midfield and passed to Yosef Samuel. Samuel timed a perfect through ball that found a streaking Kunga down the left flank. He launched a lofty cross towards the back post that found Jon Gallagher who headed the ball past the keeper. The goal marked Gallagher’s third goal of the season and his second in just two appearances with ATL UTD 2.
Gallagher and Kunga have stood out in the past two matches with their goals and creation. Gallagher, the standout from Notre Dame, has scored three goals in two appearances with the club. Lagos has been busy creating chances in his first three matches and found the back of the net for the first time last week. His technique and elusiveness make him a formidable threat on the wings. As he develops, I’m sure he’s a ringer for first-team action locally (with the club) and nationally (with the Men’s National Team).
“Lagos is a hugely talented player and so he’s a guy that we work a lot with because he’s such a big prospect,” said Donnelly. “His instincts for the game in the final third are really good. A great contribution from him today.”
ATL UTD 2 (1-0-2, 5 points) returns to action April 21 against Louisville City at 7:00 p.m. at Coolray Field. The match will be streamed live on ATLUTD.com/live.
Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD 2