Josef Martinez adds to league-leading goal tally as club breaks MLS record attendance again
ATLANTA (July 15, 2018) — Atlanta United played to a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon in front of another MLS record-breaking attendance of 72,243 fans. Atlanta now owns the top-five most-attended matches in MLS history. Josef Martinez scored his league-leading 19th goal of the season while Julian Gressel picked up his eighth assist.
“I’m calm with the production of the team today,” head coach Tata Martino said. “It’s difficult to play against a defense that sits so far back and just plays very defensively. It’s difficult to break that defense down. I thought we did it pretty well at times, especially in the second half. But it’s hard to do. The only thing I would say, and it’s not worrisome, but something we could work on is to have somebody other than Josef [Martinez] in and around the box who’s able to score goals for us. We need to try to have more guys in goal scoring positions.”
Late in the first half, Seattle opened the scoring after video review overturned a call on the field and awarded the Sounders a penalty. Franco Escobar was ruled on a handball from Harrison Shipp’s shot attempt. On the ensuing attempt, Nicolas Lodeiro stepped up to the spot, and despite Brad Guzan correctly guessing to his left, Lodeiro had just enough on his shot to get the ball into the back of the net.
Atlanta quickly equalized out of the break with Martinez heading home a cross from Gressel in the 48th minute. The German midfielder floated a cross toward the center of the box where Martinez outjumped a pair of Seattle defenders and redirected the ball toward the far post, leaving Stefan Frei no chance to make a save.
After Jordan McCrary was shown a second yellow and sent off in the 63rd minute, Atlanta poured heavy pressure over the final half-hour. While heavily out-possessing Seattle, Atlanta had a few opportunities for the go-ahead goal highlighted from a 70th minute corner kick. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez headed an attempt off the crossbar, while the rebound landed at Chris McCann’s feet inside the six-yard box, but his rushed attempt was saved by Frei.
Atlanta United (12-4-5, 41 points) returns to MLS action when it hosts D.C. United Saturday, July 21 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (3:30 p.m., Univision, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Post-match video with Martino, Larentowicz, McCann
Full Box Score
Atlanta United 1, Seattle Sounders 1
Shots: 19-8 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 6-3 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 15-3 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 13-12 Seattle
Saves: 6-2 Seattle
Clearances: 32-15 Seattle
Offside: 4-1 Seattle
Possession: 69-31 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 88-68 Atlanta
SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (penalty) 45’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Julian Gressel) 48’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (yellow) 15’
SEA – Jordan McCrary (yellow) 26’
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 44’
ATL – Michael Parkhurst (yellow) 56’
SEA – Jordan McCrary (second yellow) 63’
SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (yellow) 90+4’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar (Romario Williams – 80’); Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel; Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almirón, Tito Villalba; Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Sal Zizzo, Mikey Ambrose, Kevin Kratz, Andrew Carleton, Brandon Vazquez.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC STARTING LINEUP
Stefan Frei; Nouhou Tolo, Chad Marshall (Gustav Svensson – 73’), Kim Kee-Hee, Jordan McCrary; Jordy Delem, Cristian Roldan; Victor Rodriguez (Osvaldo Alonso – 88’); Nicolas Lodeiro ©, Harrison Shipp (Kelvin Leerdam – 65’); Will Bruin.
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alex Roldan, Raul Ruidiaz, Lamar Neagle.
Baldomero Toledo (referee), Corey Parker (assistant), Nick Uranga (assistant), Kevin Broadley (fourth), Alex Chilowicz (VAR).
Atlanta has now scored in 11 consecutive league games, extending its franchise-record long streak.
Josef Martinez scored the 38th goal of his MLS career, and it was his seventh header. Since the start of last season, he is tied with Bradley Wright-Phillips for the most headed goals of any player
26 of Josef Martínez’ 38 career MLS goals have come at home. Only five other MLS players have scored more than 25 goals total in league play since the start of last season.
Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 378th career game, tying Steve Ralston for fourth all-time in MLS history by a field player.
Larentowicz also started his 359th career MLS game. He’s in fifth place in MLS history by a field player.
The club trailed for the just for the fourth time this year at halftime. It is now 1-1-2 in those matches.
Atlanta owns the top five attendances in league history. Full list below:
Atlanta United vs. Seattle Sounders, July 15, 2018 – 72,243
Atlanta United vs. D.C. United, March 11, 2018 – 72,035
Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC, June 30, 2018 – 71,932
Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC, October 22, 2017 – 71,874
Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC, September 16, 2017 – 70,425