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2019 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Julian Gressel (74')

Atlanta earn first home win of season over winless Colorado

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Atlanta earn gritty win against the Rapids (1:44)

Julian Gressel found the breakthrough goal against a stubbornly defensive Colorado Rapids, earning Atlanta its second win of the season. (1:44)

Julian Gressel scored in the 74th minute to give Atlanta United a 1-0 victory against winless Colorado at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday.

Brad Guzan made three saves for Atlanta (2-3-2), which won for the first time at home after a loss and two draws.

The Rapids (0-7-2) tied the 2012 Toronto FC (0-9-0) for the second longest winless streak to start the season in MLS history. Real Salt Lake was 0-5-6 in 2007.

Gressel's first goal of the season, after scoring four for the 2018 MLS Cup champions, was set up by Darlington Nagbe's dribble from 25 yards.

Nagbe slipped around two defenders on the left flank. He pushed the ball ahead and as it was about to cross the end line, he sent a pass to the near post. Gressel made a run between defenders Tommy Smith and Delkan Wynne and stuck out his right leg before goalkeeper Tim Howard could grab the ball, which hit the left post and went in.

Guzan earned his second shutout by stopping a header by Nicolas Mezquida in the 88th minute.

Colorado was able to absorb the Atlanta attack in the listless first half. United had 71.9 percent of possession and 204 more passes (336-132) but the result was that only one of five shots was on target. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez had an attempt from outside box that Howard easily saved in the 31st minute.

The Rapids did not have the ball much but did get two shots, both on goal, by Kellyn Acosta in the 12th and 33rd minutes.

Atlanta kept pressuring and in the 69th minute Josef Martinez missed by inches of getting on the end of a cross by Pity Martinez.

Rapids defender Sebastian Anderson, from a homegrown player from Highlands Ranch, Colo., became the youngest player to debut for the team at age 16.

Colorado hosts Vancouver on Friday. Atlanta plays at Sporting Kansas City on May 5.

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 LAFC 16 +26 37
2 LA Galaxy 16 +3 28
3 Seattle Sounders FC 16 +5 26
4 Houston Dynamo 13 +7 24
5 FC Dallas 16 0 22
6 Minnesota United FC 16 -2 21
7 Real Salt Lake 15 -6 19
8 San Jose Earthquakes 15 -4 19
9 Vancouver Whitecaps 16 -3 18
10 Sporting Kansas City 15 -1 16
11 Colorado Rapids 16 -9 15
12 Portland Timbers 13 -7 14

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Philadelphia Union 17 +11 31
2 Montreal Impact 18 -7 27
3 DC United 17 +5 27
4 Atlanta United FC 15 +8 26
5 New York Red Bulls 16 +8 24
6 New York City FC 14 +6 23
7 Toronto FC 15 +1 19
8 Orlando City SC 15 +1 18
9 Chicago Fire 16 +1 18
10 Columbus Crew SC 16 -8 17
11 New England Revolution 16 -16 16
12 FC Cincinnati 16 -19 11