Atlanta United midfielder Gonzalo Pity Martinez #10 passes the ball during the first half of the 2020 home opener against FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday March 7, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United vs FC Cincinnati

Home Sweet Dome, United Wins 2-1

Atlanta, GA – And so it begins, life without Josef.  Saturday night Atlanta United took to the pitch for the first time since Josef Martinez tore his ACL in the MLS season opener last Saturday.  Martinez has led United in goals scored every season.

It was a strong performance from Atlanta from start to finish.  Against FC Cincinnati, United surged to a first half lead on a goal from Ezequiel Barco.  He slid across the box to guide the ball to the back of the net.

However, most of the work on that play was done by Pity Martinez.  He dribbled through the defense and delivered a beautiful pass to the front of the net to earn the assist on the play.  Manager Frank de Boer added that Pity “created the first goal, was like 90 percent his goal, so that was really nice to see.”

Atlanta added a second goal after intermission.  Emerson Hyndman hit a laser beam past the Cincinnati goalkeeper.  The assist was given to Barco.

The defense, anchored by goalkeeper Brad Guzan, was solid throughout.  The lone goal allowed came in the second half in the 64’.  Yuya Kubo scored on an assist from Adrien Regattin.  But that would be all for the visitors.

Overall, it was a solid team effort from United.  It won time of possession 58% to 42%.  It won 57% of the duels and earned a passing accuracy of 84.4%.

Atlanta next plays Club America on Wednesday, March 11th.  It’s the first leg of its quarter final matchup in the CONCACAF Champions League series.

Notes…two former United players, Greg Garza and Brandon Vazquez, played in the match for FC Cincinnati…Vazquez was traded to Cincinnati from Nashville after Nashville selected him in the 2019 expansion draft…attendance was announced as 69,301, which was the 10th highest attendance in MLS history…Atlanta United now owes all of the spots in the top 10 for MLS single match attendance records.

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