Atlanta United's speed prevailed over Real Sal Lake's resurgence Saturday night, as defensive pressure was enough to earn them a 3-1 victory on the road. The loss was RSL's first under new head coach Mike Petke, while Atlanta picked up their first win since back-to-back multi-goal victories in March.
United's first two goals came off defensive giveaways by RSL, applying pressure on the ball early in each half to jump out to a 2-0 lead that Atlanta had to defend for almost the entire second half. Miguel Almiron stood out in the game for his quickness, and his steal in the attacking third set up United's second goal, which turned out to be the match winner.
- ATL: United's "aggressive" play key in impressive win
- RSL: Rodriguez: Beginning of the end for Rimando?
- 9' - ATL - Hector Villalba Watch
- 46' - ATL - Yamil Asad Watch
- 69' - RSL - Albert Rusnak Watch
- 90'+6' - ATL - Brandon Vazquez Watch
- ATTACK MINDED: Despite being such a new face in MLS, the elevator pitch on Atlanta has been that they're going to apply pressure and score quick goals from open play. On some occasions that has meant trouble closing games out, but tonight three goals from open play put RSL away. That brings their season total to 17 open-play goals -- every one ATLUTD has scored in 2017.
- MULHOLLAND OVERWHELMED: This first-half note from MLS Analyst Matt Doyle was worth a follow up: Luke Mulholland continued to miss on 14 passes from the central midfield position. This resulted in a 60-percent pass completion rate on the night, although he did end up getting the assist on RSL's lone goal.
- ROAD WARRIORS: This win caps a four-game road trip for Atlanta, from which they managed a respectable five points. Their next match out, against D.C. United, will be the lone home game in seven outings between March 31 and May 20, so a fourth-place spot in the Eastern Conference should be a comfort.