George Bello makes MLS debut, becomes youngest player to appear in club history
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Atlanta United fell to D.C. United 3-1 Sunday night at Audi Field. Jeff Larentowicz scored his 40th career goal and Atlanta out-shot D.C. 22-9, but two goals from Luciano Acosta and a penalty from Wayne Rooney snapped Atlanta’s seven-match unbeaten streak. George Bello made his MLS debut and became the youngest player to appear in a match in club history.
Despite a solid first half-hour with Atlanta controlling the play throughout, D.C. United broke through in the 28th minute from Acosta. From a goal kick, Bill Hamid sent a ball about 70 yards that Rooney headed on for Acosta. With Larentowicz and Leandro Gonzelez Pirez on him, Acosta pulled back to create space, then sent his shot into the left corner for the lead.
Larentowicz tied up the match 10 minutes later, heading in a corner kick in the 39th minute. With the entire D.C. United team back to defend, Ezequiel Barco’s corner kick was drilled toward the near post, where Larentowicz fought off Rooney and powerfully headed the ball into the back of the net.
After the break, D.C. United applied early pressure and was awarded a penalty in the 51st minute. On a break, Paul Arriola was ruled to have been taken down by Barco inside the box. A minute later, Rooney capitalized from the spot, giving D.C. a 2-1 lead.
D.C. doubled the lead from Acosta in the 77th minute. Rooney dropped deep to corral a loose ball near midfield and chipped it ahead for Acosta who was alone against Larentowicz. The Argentine midfielder dribbled into the box and created enough space to dispatch a left-footed shot into the right corner.
Atlanta piled on pressure late, forcing Hamid to make two of his six saves in the final 10 minutes. Second-half substitute Kevin Kratz unleashed a free kick from about 25 yards out that forced Hamid to make a diving save. A corner ensued and Larentowicz again headed toward goal, but Hamid made another diving save to keep the lead at two goals.
With the upcoming international window, Atlanta United (16-5-6, 54 points) is off until Saturday, Sept. 15 when it travels to play Colorado Rapids (3:30 p.m. EST, UniMas, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
D.C. United 3, Atlanta United 1
Shots: 22-9 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 7-5 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 10-6 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 15-7 Atlanta
Saves: 6-2 D.C.
Clearances: 31-9 D.C.
Offside: 3-2 Atlanta
Possession: 62-38 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 88-80 Atlanta
DC – Luciano Acosta (Wayne Rooney, Bill Hamid) 29’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (Ezequiel Barco) 39’ [HIGHLIGHT]
DC – Wayne Rooney (penalty) 52’ [HIGHLIGHT]
DC – Luciano Acosta (Wayne Rooney) 77’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Eric Remedi (yellow) 25’
ATL – Ezequiel Barco (yellow) 51’
ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (yellow) 71’
DC – Junior Moreno (yellow) 73’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst © (Kevin Kratz – 63’), Julian Gressel; Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi; Ezequiel Barco (Romario Williams – 76’), Miguel Almirón, Tito Villalba (George Bello – 76’); Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Miles Robinson, Jose Hernandez, Andrew Carleton,
D.C. UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steve Birnbaum, Kofi Opare, Paul Arriola; Júnior Moreno, Russell Canouse; Ulises Segura, Luciano Acosta (Frederic Brillant – 89’), Zoltán Stieber; Wayne Rooney (Darren Mattocks – 85’).
Substitutes not used: Travis Worra, Vytautas Andriuskevicius, Jalen Robinson, Bruno Miranda, Chris Durkin.
Allen Chapman (referee), Joe Fletcher (assistant), Jeremy Kieso (assistant), Chico Grajeda (fourth), Robert Sibiga (VAR).
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 384th career match, good for fourth place all-time in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also started his 365th career MLS match, also ranking in fourth place in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz scored his first goal of the year and the 40th of his career.
- George Bello made his MLS debut and became the youngest player to appear in a match in club history, surpassing Andrew Carlton (16 years, 332 days).
- Josef Martinez’s nine-match scoring streak came to an end. He has scored in 13 of his last 15 matches for a total of 20 goals.