Atlanta United hosted FC Cincinnati on Saturday, April 16, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Both sides had their chances but neither could finish. Nick Hagglund received a red card in the 76th minute, which gave Atlanta an advantage for the final 30 minutes of the match. Unfortunately for the five stripes, the man advantage didn’t help as former Atlanta United player Alec Kann stepped up big time for FC Cincinnati.
Luiz Araújo and Emerson Hyndman made their returns from injury while youngster Caleb Wiley continued to impress in his first season with the senior team.
The opportunities were there for Atlanta, all game actually, but the ball just never seemed to bounce their way. Toe pokes were blocked, shot attempts deflected, a blocked penalty, and in the final 10 minutes, misdirected balls and soft headers. It seemed like whatever they did, it just wasn’t enough. Atlanta continued to pressure Cincinnati’s goal throughout the second half as it took 17 shots. However, Brad Guzan was forced to leave the match after a non-contact injury in the 73rd minute and was replaced by Bobby Shuttleworth, who made his first appearance for Atlanta United.
The red card debacle took place after FC Cincinnati’s Nick Hagglund earned his second yellow card in the 76th minute after he took down Thiago Almada. Even when Atlanta went up 11 v 10 they still couldn’t find the back of the net.
Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda had this to say about Brad Guzan’s injury post-match: “I don’t want to talk about the details about the injury, but it doesn’t look good. That’s why I’m sad, it’s not about the result or the performance, it’s about Brad’s injury. I have to wait for the scans and tests that they are going to do. No, it was not a knee injury, it was an achilles injury.“
Atlanta (3-2-1, 10 points) returns to action Wednesday, April 20 when it hosts Chattanooga FC at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup (7:30 p.m., ESPN+, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game). The team returns to MLS play Sunday, April 24 when it travels to face Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium (1:00 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD