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Atlanta United defeats Celaya F.C. 2-1 in preseason friendly

An own goal and Jake Mulraney’s Messi-esque goal ensures Atlanta’s preseason win streak continues.

Atlanta United

Atlanta United and Club Celaya faced off in a preseason friendly on Sunday in Guadalajara, Mexico as the Five Stripes continue to prepare for the 2022 MLS season.


Atlanta United made three changes to the group that started against the Georgia Revolution in Athens last Sunday. Josef Martinez and Ronald Hernandez replaced Jackson Conway and Aiden McFadden respectively after returning from international duty with Venezuela, while Alex De John stepped in for Alan Franco, who is in “health and safety protocols.”

And here’s Celaya’s stating lineup. According to Jason Longshore on the club’s livestream of the scrimmage, the numbers on the Celaya jerseys were small and on the front of the jersey. They were impossible to see on the stream.

Atlanta’s glorious run of preseason clean sheets is over. It was a well worked goal that ended in a bicycle/scissor kick that beat Brad Guzan in the eighth minute.

Atlanta United emerged from the lockeroom with the same lineup that started the first 30 minute session, while Celaya changed out its entire lineup at the 45’ mark.

Atlanta United scored the equalizer through an own goal, which was created by a cross from Luiz Araújo that sped across the penalty area, off the leg of a Celaya defender and into the back of the net. Prior to the goal, Araújo and Wolff switched flanks, so Araújo was posted up on the left flank of Atlanta’s attack during that move.

Just one minute later, a Celaya player popped up in between George Campbell and Franco Ibarra and nearly scored off a cross, but Brad Guzan’s quick reaction save kept it even at 1-1.

Thanks, Doug!

Atlanta rolled out a new group of players for the final session of the game, with the exception of Alex De John.

Jake Mulraney, who featured as a central player in this scrimmage, danced past two defenders and curled the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal around the 70th minute.

Big ups to Alex De John, who played the entire 90 minutes and looked absolutely exhausted by the time the referee blew the final whistle.


Atlanta United will play two more preseason games in Mexico on Feb. 13 before going to Birmingham, Ala. to face Birmingham Legion FC on February 20.

Atlanta United will host Sporting KC on Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Benz to kick off its MLS season.