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  • Writer's pictureSoccer Down Here

4 on 404 Night for the 5 Stripes: Starting Lineup, August 27

by Jason Longshore

1- Xande Silva and Saba Lobjanidze scored their first goals for Atlanta United in a 4-0 rout of Nashville SC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last night (photo credit, ATLUTD). Miles Robinson and Thiago Almada also added goals in the big win. Brad Guzan made his only save of the night early on an Anibal Godoy header and the 5 Stripes took control from there. Silva's volley from an Almada cross opened the scoring with aplomb in the 26th minute. No time was wasted once the second half started, Silva returned the favor with an assist on Almada's chip of a sliding Joe Willis in the 46th minute. Eleven minutes later, Almada picked out Miles Robinson on a corner and the big center back headed home his first goal of the season. Saba Lobjanidze made his Atlanta debut in the second half and scored his first goal after a series of 1-2's inside the 18 with Almada in the 87th minute.

2- So many stars in this one, but Thiago Almada was on another level on Saturday night. One goal, two assists (would have had a third one but Lukas MacNaughton deflected his pass for Saba), a new club record nine key passes, and an MLS season high four big chances created. That new #10 shirt looks really good on Thiago, as does all of the extra space that has been created with Silva and Edwin Mosquera on the wings, along with the midfield duo of Tristian Muyumba and Matheus Rossetto.

3- Atlanta United will try to keep the winning streak and clean sheet streak going on Wednesday when they host the best team in the league this season, FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue were led by Luciano Acosta's two assists in their 3-0 win over NYCFC last night in Ohio. Roman Celentano had four saves in picking up his tenth clean sheet of the season.

4- There was lots of online outrage when Lionel Messi didn't start at Red Bull Arena, he is a human being and he does get tired from time to time. After playing 120 minutes on Wednesday in Cincinnati in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup semifinal, he started last night on the bench. It didn't phase Miami as Diego Gómez opened the scoring for the Herons in the 37th minute on an assist from Jordi Alba. Messi and Sergio Busquets entered the match in the 60th minute and he delivered a highlight reel moment in the 89th minute. An incredible play from Alba set Messi up to split multiple Red Bulls' defenders with an absurd pass to Benjamin Cremaschi. As the entire Red Bulls defense tried to figure out how that pass was seen, Messi drifted to the top of the 6 and scored when Cremaschi crossed. Currently, Miami is 11 points out of the last playoff spot with 11 matches to play.

5- In other MLS results last night... Scott Arfield put home a rebound to give Charlotte an unexpected home win over LAFC 2-1. Diego Rossi scored his first goal for Columbus in an expected 2-0 over flailing Toronto. Three first half goals paced Philadelphia to road win in DC. Atlanta United academy product George Campbell won the match late for Montreal at Stade Saputo over New England. Facundo Torres' stoppage time penalty earned three points for Orlando over St. Louis. Nkosi Tafari topped him with a 97th minute winner for Dallas at home against Austin. Johnny Russell had a goal and an assist in a comprehensive 3-0 win for Kansas City at home over San Jose. The LA Galaxy wrecked Chicago 3-0 with debutant Billy Sharp scoring a late penalty to open his account. Ryan Gauld's two goals led the Whitecaps to a 3-2 win in Portland.

6- In our latest installment of the telenovela from Spain, women's national team manager Jorge Vilda has hit out publicly at the now suspended head of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales. The RFEF has called regional federations to an "extraordinary and urgent" meeting on Monday "to evaluate the situation in which the federation finds itself" following Rubiales' suspension, a spokesperson said Sunday after FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales yesterday morning. The Spanish government has also started proceedings to remove Rubiales. (ESPN)

7- Christian Pulisic scored in his Milan San Siro debut, his second in as many matches, to help lead Milan to a 4-1 win over Torino yesterday. Olivier Giroud converted two penalties to take his tally to three goals in the first two matches, while Theo Hernández also scored.

8- Arsenal's close calls might have been foreshadowing as a very early goal and a very late goal from Fulham created a 2-2 draw yesterday. Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah scored in a wild two-minute stretch in the second half to apparently give Arsenal the full three points after conceding early, but Joao Paulinha scored from a corner to earn the point for the Cottagers.

9- Big win for Santos Laguna last night at home against the Liga MX Apertura leaders Chivas 2-1. Juan Brunetta had a goal and an assist while Duván Vergara's goal ended pu being the match winner after Chivas pulled one back late. Guadalajara holds onto the top spot in the table, two points ahead of Juárez and three ahead of Atlético de San Luis.

10- Would love for y'all to join me today as Georgia State's women host Presbyterian at 6pm at the GSU Soccer Complex. I'll have the call on ESPN+ as the Panthers try to keep their unbeaten start rolling in 2023.

11- On this day in 1991, Pearl Jam released their debut album Ten. It has gone on to sell over 13 million copies worldwide. Your Song of the Day is from the album, but this live edition is from their MTV Unplugged performance:

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