Martínez scores MLS-leading 18th goal, Villalba adds his third of the season
CHESTER, Pennsylvania — Atlanta United beat Philadelphia Union 2-0 Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium thanks to two second-half goals from Josef Martínez and Tito Villalba. Atlanta improved its overall record to 12-4-4 and continues to lead MLS in points on the road with 20 through 10 matches (6-2-2). Martínez added to his Golden Boot campaign with his MLS-best 18th goal in 20 matches.
After an even first half, Atlanta was able to find the breakthrough in the 57th minute when Leandro González Pirez played a bending ball to Miguel Almirón, who ran in behind the Philadelphia back line and was fouled by Andre Blake as he attempted to round the Philadelphia goalkeeper inside the box. Martínez stepped up and calmly slotted his penalty into the bottom-right corner.
Atlanta doubled its lead in the 76th minute as Villalba found himself on the end of a beautiful team passing sequence at the back post. Almirón received the ball in the attacking half of the field, turned towards goal and attacked the Union back line before finding Martínez near the top of the box. The Venezuelan spun and returned a pass to a streaking Almirón, who drew Blake off his line and cleverly squared the ball to Villalba who one-touched a finish into the open net.
Atlanta United (12-4-4, 40 points) returns to action Sunday, June 15 when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (2:00 p.m., FOX, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
• Post-match video with Martino, Parkhurst, Gressel, Martinez
• Full Box Score
• Quote sheet
• Match photos
Philadelphia Union 0, Atlanta United 2
Talen Energy Stadium
Shots: 18-16 Philadelphia
Shots on Target: 8-3 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 6-5 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 17-7 Philadelphia
Saves: 6-3 Philadelphia
Clearances: 16-12 Atlanta
Offside: 4-1 Philadelphia
Possession: 53-47 Philadelphia
Passing Accuracy: 81-76 Philadelphia
ATL – Josef Martinez 58’ (PK) HIGHLIGHT
ATL– Tito Villalba 76’ (Miguel Almirón, Josef Martínez) HIGHLIGHT
ATL – Michael Parkhurst (yellow) 19’
PHI – Mark McKenzie (yellow) 22’
PHI– Andre Blake (yellow) 57’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Mikey Ambrose (Chris McCann 73’), Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar; Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel; Ezequiel Barco (Kevin Kratz 90+2’), Miguel Almirón, Tito Villalba (Brandon Vazquez 84’), Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Sal Zizzo, Andrew Carleton, Romario Williams
PHILADELPHIA UNION STARTING LINEUP
Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Austin Trusty, Ray Gaddis; Harris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault (David Accam 77’), Ilson Jr (Marcus Epps 83’); CJ Sapong (Cory Burke 64’)
Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Warren Creavalle, Jack Elliot, Fabinho.
Ismail Elfath (referee), Kathryn Nesbitt (assistant), Apolinar Mariscal (assistant), Rubiel Vazquez (fourth), Caleb Mendez (VAR).
• Atlanta improved to 6-2-2 on the road this season and has taken a league-best 20 points away from home. The MLS record for away points in a season is 32.
• Martinez has now scored 10 times in the club’s last eight games. He’s scored in all but one of those matches.
• With 18 goals, Martinez leads the Golden Boot race.
• Almirón recorded his ninth assist of the season.
• Jeff Larentowicz started his 358th career MLS game. He’s in fifth place in MLS history by a field player.
• Larentowicz also appeared in his 377th career game. He’s also in fifth place in MLS history by a field player.
• Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and the Atlanta defense posted their sixth clean sheet of the season.
• Atlanta is the first team to reach the 40-point mark in MLS this season.