Atlanta United’s Trinidadian striker debuted for Central FC tonight in their CONCACAF Champions League match against Sporting Kansas City. It’s the first opportunity Atlanta United supporters had to catch Kenwyne Jones in action since his signing.
It didn’t take long for Jones to make an impact on the match. Within the first five minutes, Jones was fed the ball in space, dribbled just inside the box and fired a left footed, uncontested shot, forcing the keeper to make a save. It would end up being the only shot on target in the first half, but didn’t encompass the kind of performance Jones had on the night.
The Atlanta United signee's key moment came on a disallowed goal that was surprisingly negated by the referee. Central FC earned a free kick on the right flank, just outside the Sporting KC box. It was served in and met perfectly by the head of Jones who crashed into the keeper as the ball bounced in. Jones was in good position but still, the official awarded a free kick to Sporting KC.
Jones scores but is called for a foul... #ATLUTD https://t.co/x8ZG5VZSVt— Dirty South Soccer (@DirtySouthSoc) August 17, 2016
Jones featured in the build-up to Central's first goal, holding the ball up and finding a teammate with an entry pass. Kansas City was unable to clear and Central equalized after Seth Sinovic's earlier goal.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Jones scored with a goal that counted to put Central into the lead. A through ball to Jones, who was on an off-ball run into the box, set up a right-footed cannon to the keeper's near post.
GOAL Central FC, Kenwyne JONES No. 9 | @CentralFCTT @SportingKC #SCCL #SoyAficionado https://t.co/gCUhpvZvhw
— CONCACAF (@CONCACAF) August 17, 2016
Central was unable to hold the lead as Kevin Ellis leveled the score in the 70th minute.
All in all, it was a strong debut for Atlanta United's new signing. He and his teammates are not in mid-season form like Kansas City, but they held their own. Jones showed the skills that will hopefully be a key part of Atlanta United's inaugural season.