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Atlanta United draws with Orlando City 0-0 in MLS season opener

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It was better than previous Atlanta United season openers!

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United’s Major League Soccer season opener against Eastern Conference Rivals Orlando City SC finished as a scoreless draw thanks to Brad Guzan’s late game save at Exploria Stadium.

Until that moment, Orlando City didn't force any heroics out of Atlanta United’s captain, but the American goalkeeper provided a save at a crucial point in the game to prevent Alexandre Pato from scoring on his MLS debut.

That save helped secure Atlanta’s third consecutive clean sheet of the season.

“We take pride it [clean sheets] as a backline, we take pride as defenders, as goalkeepers,” Guzan said. “To be able to come away with a clean sheet against a good team, that’s certainly a positive for us.”

Atlanta’s first half against Orlando somewhat resembled the return leg first half against Alajuelense in Kennesaw in terms of creating chances, which were difficult to come by for the Five Stripes.

Atlanta is far from a finished product under Heinze, and Atlanta only has three competitive games under its belt. Meanwhile, Orlando came off its best ever MLS season in 2020, kept its important players and head coach Oscar Pareja, added Alexander Pato, and the Lions put up the same numbers Atlanta did in the scoring column.

That’s all to say, it’s early days in the MLS season, and later matchups between these teams should be more entertaining.

Both teams had eerily similar games on the stat sheet with both sides finished the game with 11 shots, three shots on target, and six shots off target.

At the other end, Santiago Sosa once again showed his class on the ball, spraying the ball out wide and providing extra defensive solidity.

Atlanta United will host the Chicago Fire at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium next Saturday, April 24 at 8 p.m.