Atlanta United eased past the Charleston Battery 3-0 to advance to this stage of the tournament, lead by goals from youngsters Andrew Carleton, Ezequiel Barco and Romario Williams. Tata Martino told media prior to the match that he would rely on his youth and reserve players to handle these early USOC games so that the team can remain consistent in the league. Martino only started three players Tuesday against the Battery who are likely to feature Saturday against New York City FC.
“If taking [the U.S. Open Cup] seriously implies not playing [Brandon] Vazquez, Romario [Williams], [Andrew] Carleton — if taking it seriously implies that those kids don’t play, then we’ll continue to not take it seriously,” Martino told the media after Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. “Since these kids are going to play we’ll attempt to take it seriously the way we take every competition seriously. But we aren’t going to play with the same players we play week after week.”
*Atlanta United’s home venue for the next round in the U.S. Open Cup is yet to be determined.