Photo courtesy Karl L. Moore / ATL UTD 2
GWINNETT, Ga. – Jon Gallagher scored twice as ATL UTD 2 recorded a victory in its USL debut with a 3-1 win against the New York Red Bulls II before a crowd of 5,615 at Coolray Field on Saturday night. Atlanta took the lead in the 24th minute when Yosef Samuel scored the first goal in club history, finishing on the volley from a cutback cross by Gallagher, but the Red Bulls II hit back quickly as Brian White scored his first professional goal nine minutes later to level. Gallagher restored Atlanta’s lead from the penalty spot five minutes before halftime after he had been brought down in the penalty area, and then added a second goal seven minutes into the second half as he headed home from a cross by Samuel. New York tried to get back into the game in the final half-hour, only for Atlanta goalkeeper Alec Kann to make a pair of good saves, but the hosts saw out the win for their first in the USL.
24’ – ATL – Yosef Samuel (Jon Gallagher)
33’ – NY – Brian White
41’ – ATL – Jon Gallagher (penalty kick)
52’ – ATL – Jon Gallagher (Yosef Samuel)
Three Things That Matter:
1. ATL UTD 2’s duo of Jon Gallagher and Yosef Samuel made it a debut to remember for the side as they combined to produce all three goals that earned the hosts victory at Coolray Field. For Samuel, who first arrived in Atlanta after being adopted aged 10 before making his first professional strides with Bethlehem Steel FC, the homecoming was a special moment, but it was Gallagher who stole the show with two goals, including one from the penalty spot that he had earned by being brought down.
2. After victory in its opening game last week, New York would have been hopeful of earning a second consecutive win against the USL newcomers, but saw their defense again struggle to find cohesiveness against Atlanta’s attack. While Toronto FC II didn’t punish the Red Bulls II a week ago, Atlanta did to send New York home disappointed.
3. Atlanta United has made headlines for its attendances in Major League Soccer, and while the crowd of 5,615 wasn’t at those levels it did give the club’s new side a very warm welcome at Coolray Field. Given the display put on by ATL UTD 2 on the night, the side should hope that fans continue to come and support the club’s young standouts on a night that produced plenty of reason for optimism.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jon Gallagher, ATL UTD 2 – Gallagher had two goals and one assist to lead Atlanta to victory in its debut in the USL in front of a festive crowd at Coolray Field.
ATL UTD 2 at Charlotte Independence – March 31, 7 p.m. ET, Sportsplex at Matthews
New York Red Bulls II vs. Charleston Battery – March 31, 1 p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena