After France earned their second World Cup title over newcomers Croatia, Atlanta United hosted the visiting Seattle Sounders. It was a special occasion for a few reasons: The World Cup Final aired before the match, they allowed ticketed fans to watch the final on the halo board inside the stadium, the upper deck of the stadium was opened to accommodate more people, and they broke another attendance record at 72,243.
With Chris McCann back to full strength, he made his way back to the starting XI (with Mikey Ambrose on the bench). That was the only change in the lineup.
The only goal in the first half came from a VAR reviewed penalty given to Seattle’s Nicolás Lodeiro. Atlanta’s Josef Martinez nailed a header to tie the game in the 48′.
In the 63′ Jordan McCrary got a second yellow after an aggressive tackle on Leandro Gónzalez-Pirez. After the red card was issued, the Sounders went down to 10 men.
The attack was vicious in the second half after the Sounders went down a man but they weren’t able to crack the tie. Stefan Frei recorded six saves for Seattle and played a big part in keeping them in the game. Romario Williams came in for United’s Franco Escobar to help push the team in attack. The crosses were rampant from Atlanta, who recorded a total of 32 compared to Seattle’s 6.
With a home record of 2-2-2, we were wondering “what’s going on?” “People are playing differently,” said Jeff Larentowicz. “When they come here to play it’s like they’re finding a formula.”
After the draw, United will gather themselves and prepare for the return of Yamil Asad with a little help from England’s golden boy Wayne Rooney on Saturday, July 21, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
*Photos: Courtesy of ATLUTD