Atlanta United have wowed many in their debut season in MLS, but D.C. United appear distinctly unimpressed.

The founding MLS club knocked off their expansion counterparts for the second time in two tries on Wednesday, riding a gloriously-struck Patrick Nyarko side volley to a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium. 

The two sides traded goals in the midst of a lively first half, both keyed by their opponents' errors. First Atlanta exploited a slack back pass by Ian Harkes to race out on the break, with Julian Gressel finishing firmly at close range. Six minutes later Luciano Acosta intercepted a poor pass by Alec Kann and then compounded the goalkeeper's embarassment by beating him at the near post with a low worm-burner. 

The second stanza unfolded in similarly breathless fashion, yet despite many chances, Miguel Almiron and the rest of the Five Stripes could not find a way past Bill Hamid after Nyarko's moment of magic.


  • 17' – ATL – Julian Gressel Watch
  • 23' – DC – Luciano Acosta Watch
  • 60' – DC – Patrick Nyarko Watch

Three Things

  • BLACK-AND-RED BOGEY: How did D.C. get Atlanta's number? The capital club have won five games thus far this season; two have come against ATL. They've scored only 12 goals in 16 games; five of them have come against ATL. Whether it's the contrast in their styles, coaching wrinkles from Ben Olsen or something else, the elder United have bedeviled the younger ones. They meet one more time in league play, at RFK on Aug. 23.

  • 'KEEPING QUESTIONS: Kann's mistake on D.C.'s opener comes at an awkward time for the goalkeeper, with Brad Guzan joining Atlanta this week (though the US international isn't eligible for match action until his move is completed when the international window opens). Kann bailed out his teammates in Saturday's win over Columbus, but he's about to face stiff competition for the starting role.

    : MLS' worst 
    in terms of goals scored
    , D.C. United's attack has been ailing lately – in fact, Acosta's opener snapped an open-play scoring drought that had stretched to nearly 700 minutes. But there was no sign of it on Wednesday, and Nyarko was a major reason why. Making just his third start in D.C.'s last 10 league games, the Ghanaian was lively down the left flank, forcing
    Tyrone Mears
    to defend more than usual and carving out chance after chance for his teammates.

    Next Up

    • DC: Saturday, June 24 – at Philadelphia (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
    • ATL: Saturday, June 24 – vs. Colorado (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE)