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Atlanta United defeats Georgia Revolution in preseason friendly

It was a fun day in the Classic City.

Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Atlanta United eased to a 4-0 preseason victory over the Georgia Revolution at the Turner Soccer Complex in Athens, Georgia. Goals from Tyler Wolff, Luiz Araújo, George Campbell and Daniel Bloyou made the difference on the day.

“We are very grateful with the University for allowing us to be here,” Pineda said. “I think it’s a great facility. We were amazed by the quality of the locker rooms, all the rooms they have here for the teams is great. The quality of the field was very good, we were impressed by the quality of the grass. I think that helped us to perform better today.”

A handful of Atlanta United players were missing from the action today, including Josef Martinez, Ronald Hernandez, Miles Robinson, Brooks Lennon, Santiago Sosa, Emerson Hyndman, Ezequiel Barco, George Bello and Machop Chol. Oh yeah, and Marcelino Moreno, who was sitting next to the media in the press box.

Tyler Wolff got on the end of Luiz Araújo’s clipped ball in behind the Revolution defense to put Atlanta United ahead 1-0 in the second minute.

Araújo then scored himself only five minutes later with Atlanta’s second headed goal of the game.

Homegrown center back George Campbell then rounded out Atlanta’s trio of first half goals in the opening ten minutes.

Atlanta United dominated the first half as one would probably expect. The Revolution initially struggled to deal with Atlanta’s quality and intensity, but began to weather the storm after the opening 10 minutes. Atlanta played in a 4-3-3, but the fullbacks were often getting high and wide to contribute in the attack. Wolff and Andrew Gutman combined on the left flank on multiple occasions, resulting in both players getting involved in the goals.

Ozzie Alonzo was a calming and and steady presence in the middle of the field, and he occasionally dropped in between the two center backs to make the formation look more like a 3-4-3 when Atlanta was committing the fullbacks forward in the attack.

The first goal of the game was probably the best of the bunch. As soon as Luiz Araujo saw the run from Tyler Wolff in behind and played a perfect ball in behind, you knew it was going to be a goal.

Similarly to Atlanta’s friendly scrimmage against Georgia Storm last week, Gonzalo Pineda switched out the entire starting lineup with a second group of players.

Superdraft pick Daniel Bloyou scored Atlanta’s only goal of the second half through a header.

The second half saw fewer goals and a more even playing field. Luke Brennan, an academy player, got minutes on the field at right back.

“I think he was very good today,” Pineda said. “He is a kid at 16 years old who has very good instincts to attack. He can also play as a winger, but today we needed him more as a full back. He recognizes the space very good, he knows when and how to attack and go to the next line to penetrate. We saw a few good movements in the final third as well, that for a 16-year-old was good to see. Also, the defensive actions. We were actually very happy with his performance.”

Post-match thoughts

  • It’s preseason , so we probably shouldn’t try to take too much away from this match. A lot of guys who are considered starters were unavailable, but it was overall a good matchup for Atlanta United to build fitness and for some younger players to get minutes on the field.
  • A full season of Luiz Araujo is going to be incredible. He showed his quality last season, but being able to see him up close again was a reminder of how good this guy really is (albeit, the quality of opposition on the day was not MLS level). His crisp, quick movements and passes are going to be deadly in MLS. Even in a preseason scrimmage against lower league opposition, he was going all out to apply defensive pressure in Atlanta’s attacking third and win the ball back.
  • I though Jackson Conway struggled a little bit during his first half cameo. He had some half chances, and a pretty good chance in the box, but nothing came off for him. Otherwise, he struggled to get into the game.