IMAGE: 7.21 atl preview

PREVIEW | D.C. United travel to Georgia to take on Atlanta United

D.C. United (9-5-8, 35 points) travel to Georgia to take on reigning MLS champions Atlanta United (10-8-3, 33 points) on July 21 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Black-and-Red defeated Atlanta 2-0 on opening day this season on March 3.

D.C. United are fresh off a 4-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on July 18 at Nippert Stadium. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz made his MLS debut for the Black-and-Red. Lucas Rodíiguez opened the scoring in the 42nd minute off an assist from Wayne Rooney. Cincinnati pulled one back in the 54th minute after the referee handed them a penalty which Emmanuel Ledesma finished in the bottom corner. It took only five minutes for United to take the lead again as Rodríguez scored his second goal of the game off a deflected shot from outside the box. Captain Rooney scored in the 64th minute from a wonderfully accurate long-range assist from Leonardo Jara. Paul Arriola would finish the game off in the 73rd minute after he finished a counter-attack and scored with a left-footed effort. 

Rooney leads the Black-and-Red with 11 goals and seven assists this season. Argentine defender Jara is second on the team with five assists during his first season in MLS. Luciano Acosta will be available for selection after serving a two-match suspension for the red card he received against FC Dallas on July 4. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid leads MLS with 85 saves and is second in the league with eight shutouts.

Atlanta United defeated the Houston Dynamo 5-0 in their last match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Houston were handed a red card in the sixth minute after Alberth Ellis contested a yellow card. Darlington Nagbe scored his first goal for Atlanta in the 27th minute off an assist from Julian Gressel. Brandon Vasquez scored the second goal of the match as he headed in a deflected cross in the 29th minute. Josef Martinez scored the next two goals in the 60th and 79th minutes and Julian Gressel finished the game off in the 88th minute.  

Josef Martinez is third in MLS with 15 goals so far this season. Midfielders Gonzalo Martinez and Julian Gressel lead the team with five assists apiece this season. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan leads MLS with nine clean sheets this season while making 47 saves in the process. The match will be broadcast on ESPN and will start at 4 PM ET.