Santiago Sosa - Atlanta United - preseason scrimmage

Atlanta United won their second straight game of the 2021 MLS preseason, beating USL Championship side Charleston Battery 6-1 on Saturday across four separate 30-minute quarters.


The Five Stripes were led by two goals from attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco, who deposited a beautiful free kick that left the Charleston goalkeeper flat-footed. If Barco reaches peak form in 2021, as coupled with the return of Josef Martinez, Atlanta could put last year’s woes in the rearview mirror.

Another highlight for Atlanta was seeing Homegrown winger Machop Chol get off the mark, dribbling past several defenders before sliding home his shot. Chol spent the last four years at Wake Forest, one of the country's top college soccer programs.

Other goals included a Lisandro Lopez-Erik Lopez linkup, a header from Erick “Cubo” Torres and a well-taken finish from Brooks Lennon. Picking out a long ball after streaking behind the Charleston defense, Lennon poked home a right-footed finish.

The Five Stripes are still in their early days under new head coach Gabriel Heinze, though appear to be adapting well to his tactics and playing style. They await a Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series against Costa Rican side Alajuelense on April 6 (away) and April 13 (home), then begin their MLS slate April 17 at rivals Orlando City SC.


Goals


  • CHS – Mauro Cichero (PK)
  • ATL – Ezequiel Barco (PK)
  • ATL – Erik Lopez
  • ATL – Ezequiel Barco
  • ATL – Machop Chol
  • ATL – Erick "Cubo" Torres
  • ATL – Brooks Lennon


Lineups


Starting lineups and substitutes weren't immediately available.