Atlanta United opened up the 2018 season with a forgettable performance which resulted in a 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on March 3 in Texas.
The goals came early for the Dynamo as midfielder Andrew Wenger was able to tap in the first goal of the season just five minutes into the match. The assist coming off a pass from Alberth Elis who shrugged off a challenge from Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
This goal would be enough for the Dynamo to secure all three points but the Texas club did not stop, notching three more before the end of the first half. Defender Philippe Senderos doubled the lead with his first goal in MLS with a header in the twenty third minute. Mauro Manotas and Darwin Cerén also earned a place in the score sheet.
After beginning the second half down 4-0, the Five Stripes seemed to be hungry for a comeback as Josef Martínez earned a penalty kick in the forty eighth minute. Atlanta-favorite Miguel Almiròn stepped up to take the shot, but it was knocked off the post and cleared by the Dynamo.
United continued to fight to make a comeback as manager Tata Martino brought in Kevin Kratz and Brandon Vazquez in place of Hector Villalba and Darlington Nagbe. The substitutions would prove to be useless as the Five Stripes still couldn’t find a goal.
Along with losing the first game of the season, Atlanta will have to fight through an injury to starting center defender Leandro Gonzalez Perez. The Argentinian defender sustained a right hip contusion Saturday and the club is still waiting on a return time.
“It was a knock. We will see how that develops. We might have to get some images to see if there is anything worse. We hope it’s not.” Manager Tata Martino said.
Atlanta will have to put the club’s worst ever loss behind them as D.C. United and Yamil Asad travel to Atlanta. The Five Stripes have never beaten the Washington based club and will be hungry to bounce back after a humiliating loss.
“We all have one of those games that you kind of just want to forget and turn the page, and today is one of those days.” Defender Greg Garza said.
Atlanta will return to a packed house in Mercedes Benz Stadium on March 11 trying to grab its first win of the 2018 season.