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Efficient Orlando City B defeats Atlanta United 2 3-2 in Kennesaw


Atlanta United 2 falls to Orlando City B 3-2 in their home opener of the 2024 season. Atlanta outshot Orlando 20-5 and dominated possession, but the young Lions were effective in taking the win in Kennesaw on Saturday afternoon.


Atlanta started out strong as Luke Brennan earned a penalty when he was taken down in the box after winning a 1v1 dribbling duel. It was one of six fouls that Brennan suffered in the match. Javier Armas converted the penalty to make it 1-0 in the 10th minute, scoring his first goal as a professional. 


Orlando had an opportunity to level the score when Jhon Solis went down in the penalty area after a collision with Efraín Morales. The penalty was called and Solis converted the penalty kick in the 27th minute to make the score 1-1.


It didn’t take long after that for Orlando to take the lead. Three minutes later, Yutaro Tsukada scored on an incredible free kick from just outside the penalty area to make it 2-1 and it would stay the way through the rest of the first half.


In the 49th minute, Orlando was able to make it 3-1 as Colin Guske’s shot from 20 yards out found the back of the net as a wayward clearance fell his way.


Atlanta threw numbers forward and the match was played primarily in their attacking third, but the 2's could not cut into the lead until the first minute of stoppage time. Erik Centeno's cross from the right side found Morales, who powerfully headed the ball home to make it 3-2.



Atlanta United 2 created more chances in the remaining minutes of stoppage time but were unable to level the match and send it to the post-match shootout.


“In terms of performance, we played well and as the game went on we grew into the game”, said Head Coach Steve Cooke. “The second half I thought we made some good adjustments and played really well.”


One of the biggest points that Cooke talked about was how the team needed to get better in front of goal. Cooke said that they will be taking the things they did well today and reinforcing that going into next week.


Even though it wasn’t the result the team had hoped for, there is still a lot of talent on this squad that shouldn’t be overshadowed. 


“The chemistry is always there, especially on the ball, we just need to work on it off the ball, and make sure that we are all gelling together defensively,” Captain Matthew Edwards said after the hard fought match, his first as a professional after debuting for the 2's in 2020 as an academy player. “That is going to be the key to help us win games.”


The development and growth of this team will be fun to watch as the season progresses. This match showed how resilient and dangerous this team can be. 


Atlanta United 2 are back in action Sunday, March 24 when they face off against Carolina Core at Fifth Third Stadium at 3:00pm. You can listen to the match on www.soccerdownhere.mixlr.com


(Photo credit: Sofia Cupertino for SDH)


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