Atlanta United defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-1 in their 2022 Major League Soccer season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.
Goals by Luiz Araujo and new addition Dom Dwyer put the home side on the front foot before Daniel Salloi pulled on back for Sporting KC. But the goal of the night came from 17-year-old Caleb Wiley, who scored minutes into his Major League Soccer debut.
The goals kicked off as Josef Martinez managed an over the shoulder flick to send Araujo into the box. He confronted Tim Melia before tapping the ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for Atlanta United’s first of the 2022 season.
Celebrations were short lived as Araujo quickly signaled for a change. The player limped off the pitch visibly upset, indicating a problem with his hamstring.
Gonzalo Pineda tapped in newest addition Dom Dwyer, joining the game in the 25th minute to make an immediate impact. The player marked his debut with a first-half goal, striking the ball with his left leg into the center of the net.
Sporting Kansas City maintained a defensive stance until late in the second half when a goal by Daniel Salloi breathed life into the Western Conference Side. That was Salloi’s second consecutive time scoring in a season opener.
Sporting KC lost steam in the final moments of the game, allowing Caleb Wiley to push through their defense and swiftly kick the ball past Melia to conclude the night.
Atlanta United player Miles Robinson featured in the 2022 MLS season opener / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
Brad Guzan (GK) – 7/10 – Made a couple of sporadic saves but wasn’t too tested throughout.
Ronald Hernández (RB) – 5/10 – Went completely unnoticed.
Miles Robinson (CB) – 6/10 – Aggressive start that ended with a yellow, could’ve ended more dangerously for the team.
George Campbell (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t individually stand out.
Andrew Gutman (LB) – 7/10 – Played a vital role in the defense any time Sporting KC attempted to attack, but could be sharper when running up the pitch.
Matheus Rossetto feauted for Atlanta United’s first game of the season / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
Matheus Rossetto (CM) – 5/10 – Could’ve done better on the attack, and sharper on the defense.
Amar Sejdić (CM) – 5/10 – Helped maintain his side’s solidity for the most part, but could’ve been better once SKC actually decided to attack.
Osvaldo Alonso (CM) – 5/10 – Contributed as a whole, but individually failed to stand out.
Josef Martinez kicks off the 2022 MLS season on the offense for Atlanta United / Ira L. Black – Corbis/GettyImages
Luiz Araújo (RW) – 8/10 – He scored the first goal of the season before limping off the pitch with a hamstring injury. Played well – probably would’ve seen a higher rating with more time.
Josef Martinez (CF) – 8/10 – Couldn’t get a goal for himself, but recorded two assists while involving himself in all other major offensive plays.
Tyler Wolff (LW) – 7/10 – Recorded an assist and aided in the attack before being subbed off early in the second half.
Dom Dwyer – 9/10 – Tapped into the game in the first half to score on his debut, nothing more to ask from a substitute.
Brooks Lennon – 7/10 – Entered ready to attack, provided new energy to Atlanta’s offense.
Marcelino Moreno – 7/10 – Did as expected.
Caleb Wiley – 10/10 – The 17-year-old scored a goal on his MLS debut after coming on as a sub, wow.
Tim Melia started in goal for Sporting Kansas City / Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Tim Melia (GK) – 5/10 – Really struggled any time Atlanta United pushed forward.
Graham Zusi (RB) – 6/10 – Didn’t live up to his expectations, the player has been much better previously.
Andreu Fontàs (CB) – 6/10 – Made a couple crucial saves in the second half, but missed opportunities in the first 45.
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (CB) – 5/10 – Noticeably struggled.
Logan Ndenbe (LB) – 5/10 – Just struggled.
Sporting Kansas City player Roger Espinoza led the midfield in the 2022 MLS season opener / Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Roger Espinoza (CM) – 5/10 – Given his abilities, he could’ve done much more to make the match offensive for SKC.
Oriol Rosell (CM) – 6/10 – Could have been sharper on the attack, but instead maintained a defensive approach.
Rémi Walter (CM) – 6/10 – Involved himself on the offensive in the first half, but couldn’t sustain a rhythm.
Sporting Kansas City playerJohnny Russell led the offense for the team / Fernando Leon/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Johnny Russell (RW) – 7/10 – Couldn’t get his goal, but constantly knocked on Atlanta United’s door and made the biggest impact as a SKC player.
Khiry Shelton (CF) – 7/10 – Involved himself more in the second half, reaching the opponent’s box on several occasions but couldn’t finish.
Dániel Sallói (LW) – 8/10 – Didn’t make an impact in the first half, but managed a second consecutive season opener goal in the second 45.
Marinos Tzionis – 6/10 – Did as expected from a sub coming into a losing match.
Jose Mauri – 5/10 – Barely contributed to the match.
Source of the article