Atlanta United defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 in its return to MLS Regular Season action on Sunday night. Giorgos Giakoumakis scored both goals on headers and increased his season total to 12, one off the league’s Golden Boot lead. Additionally, two of Atlanta’s summer signings, Xande Silva and Tristan Muyumba, made their MLS debuts and helped move the club within two points of third place in the Eastern Conference. 

Atlanta controlled the early portion of the match and found the breakthrough in the 11th minute off a set piece. Brooks Lennon sent a corner kick near the penalty spot, where Giakoumakis rose above his defender and headed the ball past Seattle’s keeper Stefan Frei. Lennon recorded his eighth assist of the season, which is a new single-season best for the defender.

Atlanta nearly doubled its lead in the next 10 minutes. After Lennon evaded a few Sounders midfielders, he raced towards the box and laid the ball off to Edwin Mosquera but his shot went over the bar. Moments later, Silva cut inside the box onto his left foot but scuffed his shot at the last moment after Thiago Almada found him with a finessed pass between two defenders. 

I felt that we have been working very hard, the staff and players, in certain things that were important from now on. Try to get a push to make top-4 and playoffs. Today we showed that we can do it.”

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda

Seattle had a few scoring opportunities in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. Guzan made a good stop on a Yeimar Gomez header, before Rusnak narrowly missed on a volley from 20 yards out in the 58th minute. But it was the Five Stripes who doubled the lead in the 65th minute. Almada collected a ball near the left side of the box and floated in a peach of a cross to Giakoumakis at the far post. The striker got away from his marker and powered a header near post for the 2-0 lead.

Atlanta controlled the rest of the match and picked up its third road win of the season and moved within two points of third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Atlanta United (10-7-8, 38 points points) returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium next week when they host Nashville SC on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. All Atlanta United matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app.

-Jon Jones

Photo: Courtesy of Atlanta United

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