Orlando City SC 0, Atlanta United FC 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Expected to blossom into a fierce Southeastern rivalry in the league, the game was a defensive duel, with several flare-ups of physical play and few clear chances, until Hector Villalba scored a blast in the 86th minute to give Atlanta the victory.
- 86' – ATL – Hector Villalba Watch
- RIVALRY IS ON: Can a game between two teams that have never played truly be a rivalry? That's a philosophical question for another day, perhaps, but between the banter off the field in the week leading up to the match, and the derby-style play on the field on Friday, it definitely looks a rivalry is brewing between Orlando and Atlanta. What will likely add to the atmosphere, in addition to the road (and expansion) team grabbing the first win, is that these teams don't have to wait long to play each other again, as Atlanta will host the Lions next weekend.
- GUZAN DEBUT: Villalba's wonderful goal will get the headlines, and rightfully so, but goalkeeper Brad Guzan made his Atlanta debut. His arrival came at the right moment, with previous starter Alec Kann injured and Guzan was pressed into action immediately, making five saves, including a few truly special blocks, to preserve the shutout. If Guzan continues at this level, the former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year could really help Atlanta United develop into a juggernaut.
- LARIN RETURNS: Cyle Larin was a surprise substitute, playing 18 minutes for Orlando City after starting Thursday night in Canada's 2-1 loss in the Gold Cup quarterfinals against Jamaica in Arizona. While Larin couldn't get a goal to fire his team on in this game, Orlando City will have to be happy to have him back, with CanMNT duty done for the time being. Larin hasn't scored in league play since May 31, and the target man will be expected to be back in the goals soon.