ATLANTA - A goal in the 50th minute from Columbus Crew SC's Gyasi Zardes found the scoreline even at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but two late tallies from Atlanta United FC put the home side on top 3-1 at the final whistle on Sunday, Aug. 19.
Atlanta’s Josef Martinez opened the scoring in the 31st minute. Hector Villalba gave Atlanta the go-ahead goal while Miguel Almiron scored the insurance tally in the 82nd minute.
Zardes put Columbus on the board just five minutes after the second-half kick, however. Captain Wil Trapp drilled a streaking pass up the middle to Zardes, who sent a right-footed shot into the back of the net from outside the box. The tally marked Zardes' first goal from outside the 18-yard-box this season, as well as Trapp's first assist of the year.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded two saves and Columbus recorded 13 total shots, three on-target. Columbus ends a three-game win streak with its loss at Atlanta. Additionally, Columbus remains fourth in the Eastern Conference, seven points ahead of fifth place.
Next up, Crew SC travels north to face the Chicago Fire on Thursday, Aug. 23. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. ET.
• Gyasi Zardes scored a goal in today’s road match against Atlanta United FC, his 15th goal of the 2018 MLS regular season. The goal came in the 50th minute when Zardes received a pass from Wil Trapp and scored from outside the penalty box. In addition to his goal, Zardes had three shots (two on target) and created one goal-scoring chance. The forward is only one goal away from equaling his career-high for most regular-season goals in a single season (16), which he achieved in 2014. Zardes’ strike in today’s contest was also his 49th regular-season goal since joining MLS in 2013, meaning he is now only one tally away from reaching 50 goals in MLS regular-season action.
• Zardes’ start in today’s match against Atlanta United FC marked his 25th regular-season appearance and start for Crew SC. Since joining the Black & Gold on January 20, 2018, Zardes has made 25 regular-season appearances (all starts) and scored 15 goals for Crew SC. Since making his MLS debut in 2013, Zardes has made 155 regular-season appearances (140 starts), scoring 49 goals and providing 17 assists.
• Wil Trapp provided an assist in today’s road match against Atlanta United FC. The helper came in the 50th minute when he provided a pass to Gyasi Zardes, who scored from outside the box. The assist marked Trapp’s first assist since an assist on September 16, 2017 in a road contest against the Vancouver Whitecaps. In addition to his helper, Trapp also registered 67 touches, 57 passes and two tackles. In 2018, Trapp has made 21 regular-season appearances (21 starts), scoring one goal and providing one assist. Since making his MLS debut in 2013, he has made 148 MLS regular-season appearances (145 starts), scoring two goals and providing 15 assists.
• With today’s start against Atlanta United FC, Hector Jimenez has now made 100 regular-season appearances (66 starts) for Crew SC. Jimenez played the entire 90 minutes in today’s match, getting 45 touches, making 36 passes and creating one goal-scoring chance. In 2018, he has made nine regular-season appearances (six starts) and recorded one assist. Since making his MLS debut in 2011, Jimenez has made 143 appearances (95 starts), scoring five goals and providing 20 assists.
• With his start in today’s contest, Lalas Abubakar has now made 25 regular-season appearances (22 starts) for Crew SC. Since being chosen by the club in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, the defender has scored two goals to go with his 25 regular-season appearances. Abubakar played the entire 90 minutes in today’s match against Atlanta United FC, recording one shot, getting 60 touches and completing 96.1% of his 51 passes. In 2018, he has made eight regular-season appearances (seven starts), scoring one goal.
• Edward Opoku made the first regular-season start of his MLS career in today’s road match against Atlanta United FC. Opoku registered 70 minutes in today’s contest, creating one goal-scoring chance and making two tackles. The forward was chosen by Crew SC in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Since joining the Black & Gold, Opoku has made four regular-season appearances (one start).
• Patrick Mullins made his 100th MLS regular-season appearance in today’s contest against Atlanta United FC, coming in as a substitute for Federico Higuain in the 71st minute of the match. Crew SC acquired Mullins from D.C. United in a trade on July 11, 2018. This season, he has made a total of 14 appearances (three starts), scoring one goal and providing two assists. Since joining the Black & Gold, Mullins has made four appearances (one start), scored one goal and notched one assist. Mullins made his MLS debut in 2014 and has made 54 MLS regular-season starts, tallying 24 goals and registering 10 assists.
• With today’s result, Crew SC’s 2018 MLS regular season record moves to 11-8-6. Next up, Crew SC heads to Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire on Thursday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m. ET.