Atlanta United FC vs. DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 03/11/18 - ATLvsDC

Atlanta United FC vs. D.C. United
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 2
Mercedes-Benz Stadium 
– Atlanta
3:00 pm ET – March 11, 2018

Atlanta United FC look to bounce back from an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo to open the 2018 season, while D.C. United, who had two points snatched away in stoppage time in a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC, also seek their first win of the year.

The big story on the day, though, will be the return of Yamil Asad, one of the keys to Atlanta’s stunning expansion-year success last season who now stars for D.C., and will look to extend the Black-and-Red's perfect all-time record (3W-0L-0D) against Atlanta United.

Atlanta United FC

It wasn’t so much that Atlanta lost, it’s how they lost that sent shockwaves through Major League Soccer. They conceded three times in the opening half-hour, leaked a fourth goal before halftime and if not for a few big Brad Guzan saves, it could have been much worse than the 4-0 final scoreline vs. the Dynamo.

The lopsided defeat highlighted the team’s need for a defensive midfielder and a center back, which has moved to the top of Tata Martino’s wishlist.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain), F - Jon Gallagher (ankle); QUESTIONABLE: D - Leandro Gonzalez (hip)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Franco Escobar, Michael Parkhurst, Miles Robinson, Greg Garza — Jeff Larentowicz, Darlington Nagbe — Hector Villalba, Julian Gressel, Miguel Almiron — Josef Martinez

  • Notes: Atlanta scored 48 goals at home last year, the most of any team since 2010. … Atlanta’s 4-0 loss to Houston was their largest in franchise history. They had allowed three goals five separate times, but never failed to score in those games.

D.C. United

As he did last year dramatically for Atlanta, Asad scored his team’s first goal of the season, putting D.C. United in front on 32 minutes Saturday. There were plenty of chances to take all three points — including a Darren Mattocks penalty kick saved well by Lions goalkeeper Joe Bendik. But D.C. United left Orlando with a share of the points, conceding late in second-half stoppage time after playing more than half the game with a man advantage.

Asad didn’t expect to be facing his former club and he calls his return to Atlanta “strange.” Either way, his acquisition is a big part of D.C.’s roster transformation, which continued this week with the signing of Costa Rican fullback Joseph Mora.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Russell Canouse (knee), D - Taylor Kemp (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1, right to left)
GK: David Ousted — Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Oniel Fisher — Junior Moreno — Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Ulises Segura, Yamil Asad — Darren Mattocks

  • Notes: D.C. United won just three road games last season, including a 3-1 victory over Atlanta in April last season. … D.C.’s Oniel Fisher won 62.5% of his duels on Matchday 1, the ninth-highest of any player (min. 15 duels).

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Atlanta United FC 0 wins, 2 goals … D.C. United 3 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
  • At Atlanta: Atlanta United FC 0 wins, 1 goals … D.C. United 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at Atlanta: D.C. United 3, Atlanta United FC 1 (April 30, 2017)


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Eric Weisbrod
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr