DC United vs. Atlanta United | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 09/02/18 - DCvATL

D.C. United vs. Atlanta United
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 27

Audi Field — Washington D.C.
Sept. 2 — 7:30 pm ET


Atlanta United look to regain their spot atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with a third straight win, while D.C. United will try and avoid three consecutive defeats for the first time this season in the third and final regular season meeting between the Eastern Conference foes Sunday at Audi Field.

The Five Stripes are coming off a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in a game that saw Josef Martinezbreak the MLS record for goals in a single season, while the Black-and-Red lost at Audi Field for the second time, dropping a 2-0 decision to the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night.

This is the third meeting this season with Atlanta claiming a pair of 3-1 victories at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

D.C. United

For the second game in a row, D.C. United (7-11-6) failed to click offensively with a second straight shutout defeat to an Eastern Conference foe.

After Wayne Rooney couldn’t capitalize on a pair of early chances, CJ Sapong opened the scoring in the 29th minute, jumping on the rebound of a shot Bill Hamid parried in front of goal, while Fafa Picault doubled the lead in the 61st minute.

“When we concede the first goal, it is going to be a long night,” Ben Olsen said. “Now you have to chase the game. We are coming off of two days rest. It has been a hot week and the Red Bulls game was a physical matchup that maybe took a little more out of us than I thought.” 

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Chris Durkin, M - Paul Arriola
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (labrum surgery), D - Nick DeLeon (knee injury), GK - David Ousted (shoulder injury), F - Dane Kelly (ankle injury), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (fatigue); QUESTIONABLE: M -Yamil Asad (ankle injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Bill Hamid — Oniel Fisher, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora — Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno — Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Zoltan Stieber — Wayne Rooney

  • Notes: With his five saves on Wednesday night, Hamid became the 14th player in league history to record 650+ saves. He now has 653 in his career. … D.C. United have been shut out in back-to-back games (both losses) following a five-game stretch in which they averaged 2.4 goals per game (4W-1D).

Atlanta United

Atlanta United (16-4-6) extended an unbeaten streak to seven games with a fourth win in their last five games, defeating Orlando City SC, 2-1, last Friday.

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez opened the scoring in the 21st minute, but Scott Sutter leveled for the Lions a few minutes before halftime. The stalemate continued until a historic stroke of brilliance from Martinez, who cut inside before chipping Joe Bendik to break a 22-year old scoring record.

“With Josef, we knew he was going to break the record. It was just a matter of if he could do it sooner or later,” Tata Martino said. “The good thing is he did it sooner. Now this will calm him down. On top of that, he did it with a very nice goal.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Chris McCann, D - Michael Parkhurst
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Greg Garza (shoulder surgery), M - Darlington Nagbe (right adductor injury), D - Sal Zizzo (right knee injury), D - Mikey Ambrose (right knee surgery), F - Brandon Vazquez (left foot injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Julian Gressel, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Chris McCann — Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi — Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco — Josef Martinez

  • Notes: Should Martinez score, he would set a new MLS record for most consecutive games with a goal with 10. Portland’s Diego Valeri set the current record of nine last season, which Martinez tied with his record-setting goal. … Atlanta are unbeaten in each of their last seven games (5W-2D), despite holding just one clean sheet during that run.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: D.C. United 3 wins, 8 goals … Atlanta United 2 wins, 8 goals … 0 draws
  • At D.C.: D.C. United 2 wins, 3 goals … Atlanta United 0 wins, 1 goal … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at D.C.: D.C. United 1, Atlanta United 0 (August 23, 2017)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Chico Grajeda
VAR: Robert Sibiga