Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union
Atlanta United Conquers Union 2-0
Almada Shines Bright
Atlanta Latinos Magazine – Atlanta United needed three points badly. Having won only once in its last seven matches, Atlanta faced a hot Philadelphia Union team. The Union had won eight of its last eleven matches and sit fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
But today was all Atlanta United, winning 2-0. Thiago Almada handled the offense duties, while Brad Guzan recorded the clean sheet.
Almada got Atlanta on the board early. After a foul at the top of the box, Almada took the free kick. His shot got stuffed by the Philadelphia wall. However, the ball rebounded back towards Almada, who laced a laser beam into the side of the net past the flat-footed Union goalkeeper. It was Almada’s eighth goal of the season.
Atlanta would hold the 1-0 lead until the later stages of the match. In the 79’ Brooks Lennon hammered home a goal that appeared to go through the Union goalkeeper. It was Lennon’s second goal of the season. Almada and Miguel Berry were credited with an assist. Almada vaulted into sole possession of the MLS league lead with that assist.
The defense was stellar for most of the day. It limited Philadelphia to only one shot on target. It was Guzan’s fourth shutout of the year and Atlanta’s fifth overall. A tactical change to play three defensive center backs instead of two helped solidify the back end of the defense.
Atlanta’s manager Gonzalo Pineda was pleased with the team effort. When asked about the game plan for next week, Pineda laughed and asked if he could take moment to enjoy this win and celebrate with a beer tonight.
Atlanta next plays on the road against Montreal on Saturday, July 8th.
Notes… Miguel Berry earned his first assist of the year…. Almada’s goal was his MLS leading sixth goal from outside the box this season…Philadelphia led several key categories, including time of possession and total shots…Atlanta lead expected goals 1.01 to .73…attendance was announced as 42,527.