ATL UTD 2’s inaugural season began with a 3-1 home win over New York Red Bulls II back in March. On Friday night, though, it was a far different story as NYRB II scored twice in the first half and four more times in the second to come away with a 6-1 win in New Jersey.
After a scoreless 15 minutes, New York found the scoreboard in the 17th minute as Chris Lema scored off a rebound to cap and make it 1-0. The home team doubled that margin in the 30th minute as a little miscommunication between Shawn Nicklaw and Paul Christensen saw Amando Moreno find the net to make it 2-0.
Unfortunately for ATL UTD 2, the second half wasn’t much better. Ethan Kutler drilled a shot into the upper 90 to make it 3-0 in the 56th. NYRB II would add then two goals in a matter of minutes - the 71st and 73rd - before Devon Sandoval deflected a ball in front off of Jordan Scarlett and past the line to put Atlanta on the board in the 81st. Cristian Casseres Jr.’s penalty in stoppage time ended the scoring.
Scott Donnelly was able to give some minutes to Alessandro Castro, who was signed from the Atlanta United Academy earlier this week and came on for Laurent Kissiedou in the final quarter of the match. With Castro a permanent member of the team now, we’ll see how he’s utilized in the coming weeks and months of the season.
Despite the loss, ATL UTD 2 have a great chance to bounce back into the win column as it welcomes the Bethlehem Steel to Coolray Field on Wednesday. Kickoff for that one is set for 7pm.
ATL UTD 2 Starting XI: Paul Christensen, Jose Hernandez, AJ Cochran, Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Shawn Nicklaw, Ollie Shannon, Jack Metcalf (C), Jon Gallagher, Laurent Kissiedou, Yosef Samuel, Devon Sandoval
Bench: Nico Caraux, Kevin Barajas, Chris Goslin, Ale Castro, Will Crain, Blake White, Lagos Kunga
Substitutes: Goslin 46’ (Metcalf); Kunga 62’ (Samuel); Castro 76’ (Kissiedou)