Atlanta United FC 1, New York Red Bulls 2 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Atlanta United beat themselves in their MLS debut.
The fledgling team led the New York Red Bulls late in Saturday's season opener, but two goals after the 75th minute – including an own goal charged to Anton Walkes in the 82nd minute – gave the visitors a 2-1 victory.
Yamil Asad scored the expansion club's first goal in the 25th minute, tucking in Tyrone Mears' cross at the back post and touching off a joyous celebration from the capacity crowd at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. Atlanta still seemed poised to take all three points until Daniel Royer equalized in the 76th, heading home a corner from Sacha Kljestan. Six minutes later, a fluid Red Bulls move saw Mike Grella set up Kemar Lawrence, and his cross to the back post deflected off Walkes and in.
- FINALLY FINDING THEIR STRIDE?: Until their late surge, the Red Bulls were well on their way to going winless in their first three matches across all competitions in 2017. Saturday night's lackluster first half followed a 3-1 aggregate loss to Vancouver in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, including a 2-0 defeat at midweek in the second leg at BC Place.
- EARLY EXIT: This wasn't the spot in the team history book that Carlos Carmona wanted, but someone had to get the first straight red card in Atlanta United history. The defensive midfielder was sent off in the 88th minute for violent conduct after stepping on Felipe, down following a foul, in plain sight of referee Mark Geiger.
- ONE MORE AND IT'S HIS: New York goalkeeper Luis Robles moved into a share of the league record for most consecutive regular-season appearances, matching Chris Klein's record of 141 with his full-90 outing on Saturday. Robles lived up to the moment, making three saves – including this highlight-reel stop and this heady denial of Miguel Almiron's chip – in picking up the victory.
- ATL: Sunday, March 12 at Minnesota United FC (5 pm ET | ESPN2)
- NY: Saturday, March 11 vs. Colorado Rapids (4 pm ET | UniMás)