By Matthew Weitz
ATLANTA – Atlanta United picked up a huge MLS regular season win over the Houston Dynamo at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Wednesday night. The final score was 5-0.
Six minutes into the game, the Dynamo’s Alberth Elis received a yellow card and then a red card. The yellow card came on a rough foul, and seconds later a red card was given to him when he mouthed off to and lightly shoved the referee. For the remainder of the game, Atlanta United had a one man advantage.
27 minutes in Darlington Nagbe gave Atlanta United a 1-0 lead, finding the back of the net. This was Nagbe’s first goal with Atlanta United. Nagbe is better known as a goal facilitator than a goal scorer. Two minutes later, Brandon Vazquez scored on a header to put Atlanta United up 2-0. This was Brandon’s second MLS goal of the season. He has five US Open Cup goals this year. This score line remained at the half.
In the second half, Josef Martinez scored two goals, and Julian Gressel scored the fifth and final goal for Atlanta United, giving them a massive 5-0 win at home. With this win, the five stripes, as Atlanta United are nicknamed have catapulted into second place in the Eastern Conference. They are one point ahead of DC United in the standings. DC United plays today and will travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday for a 4pm start against Atlanta United. This game could give the five stripes a chance to jockey for a better playoff position and the potential to host more MLS Cup Playoff games. This would allow them to play through at least one or two rounds before leaving the friendly atmosphere of Mercedes-Benz Stadium come playoff time.