D.C. United lost 2-1 to Atlanta United FC in their 21st match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season. The Black-and-Red outshot Atlanta 27-13 but were unable to convert enough chances and lost 2-1 at home.
D.C. United started with Jon Kempin in net and Steve Birnbaum, Andy Najar, and Tony Alfaro in the back three. Joseph Mora and Julian Gressel started as the two wingbacks with Junior Moreno, Russell Canouse and Kevin Paredes starting in the midfield. Ola Kamara and Edison Flores started up top for the Black-and-Red.
Atlanta scored the first goal of the game in the 25th minute when Josef Martinez got free on a counterattack and finished into the bottom left corner. Tremendous hustle from Julian Gressel helped prevent a second goal in the 43rd minute when he ran all the way back to his own goal to steal the ball from Josef Martinez, preventing him from shooting into an empty net. Shortly after, Ola Kamara got free in the box and rose up for a header, but it was narrowly pushed away by Brad Guzan. United fought to get back in the match towards the end of the half but went into the break down 1-0.
D.C. United started the second half on the front foot and were able to generate goalscoring opportunities thanks to their high pressure. This paid off when they scored the equalizer in the 54th minute. Yordy Reyna caught Atlanta off guard with a quickly taken free kick that looped over Guzan’s head and off the crossbar before crossing the line and tying the match. The goal was Reyna’s third of the season. United nearly took the lead in the 60th minute when Edison Flores got free at the back post, but his headed effort was saved. Jon Kempin made his best save of the match in the 80th minute when he made himself big and denied Josef Martinez in a one-on-one situation from in-close. Atlanta took the lead in the 82nd minute when Marcelino Moreno scored on a low shot from just outside the box. Ramon Abila came on as a substitute late in the match and nearly helped United score on multiple occasions in the closing minutes. United were unable to find the tying goal and lost the match 2-1.
D.C. United’s next match is against the Philadelphia Union at Audi Field on Saturday, August 28 at 8:00 PM ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.