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CHARLESTON (Feb. 21, 2018) — Atlanta United drew 1-1 with Minnesota United Wednesday night at MUSC Health Stadium. Ezequiel Barco opened his Atlanta account in the 85’ minute to secure a draw against Atlanta’s 2017 MLS expansion counterpart.
“Not only have we had more training sessions but we’re adding more rhythm,” Atlanta United Head Coach Tata Martino said. “And that’s the important part, in each game we’re growing, independent of the level of the opponents. As the games come, we’re incorporating the new players and they’re getting more used to playing with each other.”
Atlanta dominated possession and outshot Minnesota 17-3, in addition to recording a 14-0 advantage on corner kicks. In the first half Atlanta tested Minnesota goalkeeper Matt Lampson on several occasions. In the 18th minute, Chris McCann played a ball over Minnesota’s backline that Josef Martinez controlled of his chest before forcing a save from Lampson. The Minnesota goalkeeper denied Miguel Almirón multiple times on the night and Minnesota defenders pitched in to clear the ball off the line on attempts from Josef Martinez and Barco.
Minnesota opened the scoring in the 51st minute when Atlanta midfielder Chris McCann committed a foul in the box after a turnover to give the Loons a penalty. Kevin Molino converted from the spot to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
Barco leveled the game in the 85th minute, tallying his first goal in an Atlanta uniform with a curling effort to beat Lampson. Barco received a pass on the left side, dribbled into space and cut inside past a defender before striking a right-footed shot inside the far-post.
Atlanta United returns to action for its final match of the Carolina Challenge Cup on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. against Charleston Battery.
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 1
MUSC Health Stadium
Charleston, South Carolina
MIN – Kevin Molino (PK) 51’
ATL- Ezequiel Barco 85’
MIN- Collin Martin (yellow) 31’
ATL-Greg Garza (yellow) 45’
ATL-Chris McCann (yellow) 58’
ATL-Romario Williams (yellow) 81’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Greg Garza (Mikey Ambrose 64’), Leandro González Pirez, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Sal Zizzo (Franco Escobar 64’); Chris McCann (Kevin Kratz 84’), Darlington Nagbe, Miguel Almirón, Julian Gressel (Hector Villalba 64’), Ezequiel Barco; Josef Martinez (Romario Wiliams 64’).
Substitutes not used: Mitch Hildebrandt, Alec Kann, Michael Parkhurst, Miles Robsinson, José Hernández, Chris Goslin, Jon Gallagher, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Oliver Shannon, Brandon Vazquez, Andrew Carleton.
Minnesota United STARTING LINEUP
Matt Lampson; Tyrone Mears, Francisco Calvo, Jerome Thiesson, Michael Boxall; Collin Martin (Collen Warner 45’), Ethan Finlay (Sam Nicholson 77’), Ibson, Rasmus Schuller, Kevin Molino (Miguel Ibarra 77’); Abu Danladi (Christian Ramirez 62’).
Substitutes not used: Marc Burch, Sam Cronin, Xavier Gomez, Harrison Heath, Brent Kallman, Alex Kapp, Jose Leiton, Carter Manley, Wyatt Omsberg, Bertrand Owundi Eko’o, Frantz Pangop, Bobby Shuttleworth, Mason Toye, Johan Venegas.
Jose Carlos Rivero (referee), Gianni Facchini (assistant), Oscar Mithcell- Carvalho (assistant), Brian Marshall (fourth).
- Atlanta’s starting lineup featured one change from its last time out against Columbus Crew SC; Greg Garza for Mikey Ambrose at left back.
- Tito Villalba and Franco Escobar made their first appearances of the preseason, both coming on as substitutes in the 64th minute.
Ezequiel Barco’s 85’ minute goal was the first of his Atlanta career.