Two storms hit Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. The first delayed the match nearly an hour. The second was Atlanta United knocking over the Houston Dynamo 4-1 before another sold-out crowd of over 40,000.
Atlanta's 23-year-old playmaker Miguel Almiron was the star, registering the club's second hat trick of the season.
The Paraguayan opened the scoring at that half-hour mark with a blast from just inside the top of the box that roofed the net. He doubled the lead before the break with a combination of finesse and power, first, deftly chipping the ball to get by a defender, then ripping another hard shot past Dynamo 'keeper Joe Willis. Rookie Julian Gressel made it 3-0 and Almiron put away a penalty kick to complete the rout. Houston's Erick Torres scored a late penalty kick to deny Atlanta the shutout.
The match began 55 minutes after it was scheduled due to inclement weather in the area.
- 29' - ATL - Miguel Almiron WATCH
- 42' - ATL - Miguel Almiron WATCH
- 76' - ATL - Julian Gressel WATCH
- 80' - ATL - Miguel Almiron (PK) WATCH
- 90' - HOU - Erick Torres (PK) WATCH
- BACK TO SCORING WAYS: Atlanta is not sneaking up on any teams any more, but that doesn't mean teams have figured out how to stop their potent attack. Aside from the scoreless draw in Seattle, Atlanta has now scored first in 9 of their other 10 games and lead the league with 24 goals. They had struggled to hold those leads, as they are now 4-3-2 when scoring first.
- GOALS ON GOALS: Miguel Almiron came into the game with two goals on the year, both coming in Atlanta's 6-1 rout of Minnesota back on March 12, when his ATL teammate Josef Martinez also scored the team's first hat trick. This was the fifth time an ATL UTD player scored multiple goals in a game, and was Atlanta's fourth match with 3-plus goals.
- HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Houston has lost all five of their road games, being outscored 14-3 away from home so far. Before Torres put away his penalty kick - his 9th goal of the year, and fifth from the spot - Houston had gone the equivalent of 4.5-plus games without a road goal. It's not like they're not trying - tonight they used their 12th different lineup in 12 games, even starting DaMarcus Beasley up top for the first time since he joined Houston. That said, they also started with Torres and Romell Quioto on the bench.
- ATL: Sunday, May 28 – vs. New York City FC (5 pm ET | ESPN; ESPN Deportes)
- HOU: Sunday, May 28 – at FC Dallas (8 pm ET | FS1; FOX Deportes)