Preseason is finally over. Four matches were played. Eleven goals in total were scored. Here’s a look at each and every one of them.
Atlanta United kicked off the preseason with a convincing 4-0 win over fellow Southeastern club, the NPSL’s Chattanooga FC. Tito Villalba scored the first ever goal after a lightning quick counterattack from a CFC corner:
Here is the FIRST EVER #ATLUTD goal— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 11, 2017
Courtesy of @TitoVillalba15 #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/ADSpnrjnXR
Soon after, Yamil Asad doubled Atlanta’s lead with probably the goal of the preseason as far as our club is concerned. He finished off a nice team passing sequence with an unstoppable curling strike from outside the box:
#UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/MiAtQCyEZA— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 11, 2017
After a halftime change of lineups and kits, Josef Martinez opened his preseason account (one that would grow significantly over the coming days) with a beautiful diving header:
.@JulianGressel ➡️ @JosefMartinez17— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 11, 2017
Diving header!#ATLUTD 3 - 0 @ChattanoogaFC pic.twitter.com/rEJiZaMIOR
The great day was capped off by the club’s first ever Homegrown player, Andrew Carleton. He found a loose ball in the box and tapped in. The celebration of him sprinting over to a mob of United supporters was more epic than the goal itself:
Hail to the Homegrown.— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 11, 2017
Much love from the fans. #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/fWdSPij8bj
After the fun opening match, Atlanta traveled to Charleston to begin the Carolina Cup Challenge. While they would drop their opening match to Columbus, 2-1, Josef Martinez would add to his collection of diving headers:
It's even better in slo mo ⚽ #ATLUTD 1 - 0 @ColumbusCrewSC pic.twitter.com/DGQZt2y7Rk— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 18, 2017
After tasting defeat for the first time, United would rebound big over a second-choice Seattle Sounders lineup with another four-goal performance. Once again it would be Josef Martinez getting the scoring started early:
3 goals in 3 matches for @JosefMartinez17— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 23, 2017
Wasting no time on this one... pic.twitter.com/OCB9VxgdUX
Just a few minutes after than, Miguel Almiron converted a penalty for his first goal for the Five Stripes:
Clinical PK from #10 ⚽ pic.twitter.com/ThuDiAtn3W— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 23, 2017
A rampant Atlanta attack would not be stopped as they added a third goal in the first half thanks to Tito Villalba who converted on a 3-on-1 break with supreme confidence by nutmegging the goalkeeper with a shot:
Not over, not under, not around...@TitoVillalba15 with the meg#UniteAndConquer | #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/L5dgveUVIa— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 23, 2017
Just after the halftime break, Josef would score his four goal of the preseason with the cheekiest of chips over the goalkeeper on a 1-vs-1 opportunity. The team would concede twice after, but hang on to win 4-2.
Everyone loves a cheeky chip— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 23, 2017
Well done, @JosefMartinez17 #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/Ji6r23uP8D
A reserve-filled lineup took the field in the preseason finale against the Battery. However that didn’t stop the goals from flowing. Yamil Asad would notch his second of the preseason with a lovely diving header:
Off to another great start!#ATLUTD 1 - 0 @Chas_Battery— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 26, 2017
Courtesy of @YamilAsad11 pic.twitter.com/lNfB20XjbQ
Atlanta United loanee Romario Williams equalized on the stroke of halftime for the Battery. The match appeared to be headed for a draw, but Tito Villalba, who had been brought on in the 85th minute to spare a teammate’s legs, popped up in the box and knocked home the winner with literally the team’s last kick of the preseason.
Coming in clutch @TitoVillalba15 with the game winner! #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/PxXjOyzIFZ— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 26, 2017
And that’s how the preseason ended. Josef scored 4. Tito scored 3. Yamil had 2. Almiron and Carleton had the others.
Which was your favorite goal? Let us know in the comments.