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Brad Guzan and Tito Villalba speak on Orlando rivalry, Dom Dwyer and Tito’s game-winning goal

Atlanta United will look to earn another three points against Orlando City

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Guzan enjoying a shutout in his first appearance with Atlanta United

Last Friday was fun, I say we do it again on Saturday, what do you say?

As you can tell in the picture above, goalkeeper Brad Guzan definitely enjoyed coming back home with three points and and most importantly, earning a shutout in his first MLS appearance since 2008.

“Going down there and getting three points in front of an intense crowd with our supporters showing their support for us, it’s going to make Saturday that much more special,” Guzan said. “These are the games you want to be a part of as a player, they’re important games but these are big games. As a player, these are the games you want to be on the field.”

Guzan and Hector “Tito” Villalba are still not buying that Orlando is United’s rival and both players stated that rivalries are started on the field.

“I think there’s something starting but everything here is more relaxed,” Villalba said. “Back in Argentina, there would be fans throwing rocks at our bus when it pulled up to the stadium. When you played away from home, you would enter the field under police protection and people would be throwing rocks or spitting at you. They just live futbol in a different way.”

While Guzan hasn’t played in South America, he has traveled down to Central America for World Cup Qualifiers, which comes pretty close when comparing stadium atmospheres.

“Going down to Azteca for a USA vs Mexico has been one of the biggest rivalries that I have played in,” Guzan said. “Another would be playing in some of the countries in our CONCACAF region, sometimes security isn’t always the best and fans somehow find their way to our locker room, whether it be through a window, or door or hallway and you gotta be ready for anything.”

As you are aware, Orlando City SC acquired Dom Dwyer and he’ll be expected to make his debut against Atlanta United on Saturday, but Guzan and company are not reading much into it and will focus on their game plan and look to add another victory to their record.

“He’s a good player with a good work ethic and he works hard,” Guzan said. “I saw him first-hand on camp and he’s a player that closes spaces well, he’s a good new element to their team and we need to be aware of his positioning and whereabouts on the field.”

Five days later and this golazo is still a beauty to watch and Guzan praised the shot, but wasn’t surprised at the same time.

“The strike speaks for itself, it was a great finish and we were happy we were on the winning side,” Guzan said. “We know (Villalba) has that quality the ability to put that ball in the back of the net.”