Atlanta United made their way to the Golden State to face the LA Galaxy and superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United made their way back to the 3-5-2 formation with record signing Ezequiel Barco getting his first MLS start. Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra told me the day he was signed that, “he’s so talented that he could play any position.” That was put to the test tonight as they put him in Tito Villalba’s regular spot up front with Josef Martinez.

Club favorite Miguel Almirón was fouled inside the box after piercing the Galaxy back line and earned United a penalty. Josef Martinez made the attempt but pushed it just wide off the crossbar.


Ezequiel Barco starts his first MLS match for Atlanta United


Within 20 minutes the five stripes hit the woodwork four separate times but thankfully Martinez caught a ricochet and finished the job.

United fans had a scare in the 44′ when Martinez went to ground clutching his hand (the one that’s in a full cast right now) but thankfully he was alright.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played good hold-up ball against Atlanta’s backline setting up three chances on three separate occasions in the first half alone. Almirón took a continuous beating tonight drawing foul after foul while Barco kept the pressure on the Galaxy’s back line.

It was a match that lived up to the hype and both clubs had their chances to rack up the goals but the deciding moment of the match took place in the 90′. United striker Romario Williams was fouled in the box, drawing a penalty. Miguel Almirón converted the pk to win the match 2-0, a decisive victory against a formidable opponent.

My Man of the Match goes to Miguel Almirón. He was an absolute workhorse in tonight’s match and put the exclamation point on the victory with that stoppage time goal (much like Carleton’s for ATL UTD 2 hours earlier).

The five stripes will travel back to Atlanta and prepare to host the Montreal Impact next Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.


-Jon J.

Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD



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