United Impresses In Win Of Eastern Conference Finals’ First Leg

Raphael Haynes
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Atlanta, Ga- Atlanta United took a huge step in cementing a birth in the MLS Cup by defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-0.

This was the first time that the United has defeated the Red Bulls in franchise history. “It’s nice that it came at this point of the season in these circumstances,” stated Michael Parkhurst.

From the start, the match was very physical. Each team tried to establish some type of momentum.

Josef Martinez finally got in the action in the 32nd minute. His first time touching the ball, he received a pass from Jeff Larentowicz right outside the six-yard box. Martinez controlled it with his chest and kicked a strike past the goalkeeper Luis Robles in the right corner of the net for the goal.

In the 53rd minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips appeared to score the tying goal that rolled past Brad Guzan. The referee decided to review it and the goal was reversed because of an offside.

Franco Ecobar added to the lead in the 71st minute. Miguel Almiron served a perfect pass to Julian Gressel right outside the six-yard box, which he sent a pass across the other side of the goal for Escobar who sent a lazar past the outstretched hands of Robles for the goal.

Tito Villalba sealed the win with a 22-ft goal in the left corner of the goal. in 94th minute.

Atlanta will travel to New Jersey for the second Leg of the Eastern Conference Finals on November 29th at Red Bull Arena (7:30 p.m. FS1, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).



Atlanta United 3, New York Red Bulls 0

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Atlanta, Georgia



Shots: 13-6 Atlanta

Shots on Target: 5-1 Atlanta

Corner kicks: 5-5

Fouls committed: 11-7 Atlanta

Saves: 2-1 New York

Clearances: 18-12 Atlanta

Offside: 2-2

Possession: 52-48 Atlanta

Passing Accuracy: 68-62 Atlanta


ATL – Josef Martinez (Jeff Larentowicz) 32’ [HIGHLIGHT]

ATL – Franco Escobar (Julian Gressel, Miguel Almirón) 72’ [HIGHLIGHT]

ATL – Tito Villalba (Franco Escobar) 90+5’ [HIGHLIGHT]



ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (yellow) 62’



Brad Guzan; Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Jeff Larentowicz; Greg Garza (Chris McCann – 83’), Eric Remedi, Darlington Nagbe, Franco Escobar; Josef Martinez (Tito Villalba – 77’), Miguel Almirón (Ezequiel Barco – 86’), Julian Gressel.


Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Miles Robinson, Kevin Kratz, Brandon Vazquez.



Luis Robles; Connor Lade, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Michael Murillo; Sean Davis (Brian White – 87’), Tyler Adams; Daniel Royer (Derrick Etienne – 71’), Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Alex Muyl (Marc Rzatkowski – 84’); Bradley Wright-Phillips.


Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Fidel Escobar, Andreas Ivan, Cristian Casseres Jr.






Kevin Stott (referee), Adam Wienckowski (assistant), Corey Parker (assistant), Allen Chapman (fourth), Drew Fischer (VAR).



  • Michael Parkhurst made his 25th career postseason appearance and 24th start.
  • Jeff Larentowicz made his 25th career postseason appearance and 20th start.
  • Darlington Nagbe made his 15th career postseason appearance and start.
  • Brad Guzan made his eighth career postseason appearance and start.
  • It was Larentowicz’s second career MLS Playoff assist. His first came on Nov. 1, 2009 with the New England Revolution (vs. Chicago Fire).
  • Red Bulls had a goal disallowed in the 53rd minute. Alex Muyl was deemed to be in an offside position and to be obstructing the line of sight of Brad Guzan.
  • Josef Martínez sets the MLS single-season record with 34 total goals (31 regular season, 3 postseason). Roy Lassiter had 33 in 1996.




Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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