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KENNESAW, Ga. (June 14, 2017) — Atlanta United defeated Charleston Battery 3-2 on Wednesday night in front of 9,458 fans at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. After a 2-hour, 42-minute delay due to inclement weather, Atlanta prevailed with goals from Kevin Kratz, Josef Martinez and Brandon Vazquez to move into the Round of 16 in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Atlanta United has been placed in the South Region alongside Chicago Fire, Miami FC and FC Cincinnati. The official draw will take place Thursday, June 15 at 11 a.m.
“The positive was we found a way to get through it,” Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino said. “As a team, we didn’t play very well, but we were able to win due to our perseverance.”
Forrest Lasso gave Charleston the lead in the third minute off of a long throw-in. O’Brian Woodbine’s throw was deflected off of an Atlanta United defender before Lasso headed it home.
Atlanta equalized in the 30th minute from Kevin Kratz after the midfielder buried a loose ball in the Charleston penalty area. After a deflection from Zach Loyd’s attempted cross, Kratz was able to drill his attempt to the near post for the goal. But Charleston took the lead less than a minute later with Dante Marini ripping a shot on net that redirected off of Miles Robinson, leaving goalkeeper Alec Kann no chance. Charleston was then awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute, however Woodbine’s attempt was over the bar.
A pair of halftime substitutions made an immediate difference for Atlanta. Mikey Ambrose came on for Zach Loyd, while Mark Bloom moved from left back to right back. Additionally, Julian Gressel came on for Miles Robinson, which moved Jeff Larentowicz to center back. Almost immediately, Martinez equalized for Atlanta, scoring in the 48th minute after heading home a perfect cross from Brandon Vazquez.
Atlanta then took the lead in the 72nd minute with Vazquez hammering home a cross from Ambrose. The two teams traded scoring opportunities over the final 20 minutes, but Atlanta held on to win.
U.S. Soccer will conduct the Round of 16 Draw on Thursday, June 15 at 11 a.m. The Draw will be streamed live on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook Page and will set the bracket for the rest of the tournament, while also determining hosting scenarios for the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals.
Atlanta United returns to MLS action on Saturday, June 17 against Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff from Bobby Dodd Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports Southeast.
Atlanta United 3, Charleston Battery 2
Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Shots: 21-14 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 6-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 7-3 Charleston
Fouls committed: 13-7 Atlanta
Saves: 3-0 Charleston
Possession: 72-28 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 87-65 Atlanta
CHS – Forrest Lasso 3’
ATL – Kevin Kratz 30’
CHS – Dante Marini (Tah Anunga) 31’
ATL – Josef Martinez (Brandon Vazquez) 48’
ATL – Brandon Vazquez (Mikey Ambrose) 72’
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (yellow)
ATL – Anton Walkes (yellow)
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Alec Kann; Mark Bloom, Anton Walkes (Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu – 60’), Miles Robinson (Julian Gressel – HT), Zach Loyd (Mikey Ambrose – HT); Chris McCann, Jeff Larentowicz ©; Miguel Almiron, Kevin Kratz, Brandon Vazquez; Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alex Tambakis, Chris Goslin, Harrison Heath, Andrew Carleton.
CHARLESTON BATTERY STARTING LINEUP
Odisnel Cooper; O’Brian Woodbine (Robbie Robinson – 88’), Forrest Lasso, Taylor Mueller, Quinton Griffith; Dante Marini, Neveal Hackshaw (Nicholas Rittmeyer – 82’), Tah Anunga, Maikel Chang; Heviel Cordoves, Ricky Garbanzo (Kotaro Higashi – 67’).
Substitutes not used: Jeffrey Otoo, Joe Kuzminsky, Ryan Arambula, Justin Portillo.
Guido Gonzalez Jr. (referee), Luis Uranga (assistant), David Jaye (assistant), Merhamin Hadzic (fourth).
- Zach Loyd and Miles Robinson made their Atlanta United debuts.
- Kevin Kratz scored his first goal for the club in the 30th minute.
- Josef Martinez made his first start since returning from his quad injury and scored in the 48th minute. It was his first goal since scoring a brace against Chicago Fire on March 18.
- Brandon Vazquez scored his second goal of the season in the 82nd minute.
- Miles Robinson, Zach Loyd and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu all made their club debuts. Robinson and Loyd started, Wheeler-Omiunu entered as a substitute for Anton Walkes in the 60th minute.
- Brandon Vazquez and Anton Walkes made their first start for Atlanta United.