Orlando City (8-7-5, 29 pts.) finishes off Heineken Rivalry Week on the road, taking on Atlanta United (6-8-5, 23 pts.) for the first time in 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Sunday. The match is set to kick off at 3 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally on ABC and ESPN Deportes. Local radio coverage will be available from 2:30 p.m. ET on FM 96.9 the Game in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Atlanta:
Key Additions - AM Thiago Almada (Vélez Sarsfield), GK Raul Gudino (Chivas), CF Ronaldo Cisneros (Chivas, loan), CM Osvaldo Alonso (Minnesota United), CF Dom Dwyer (Toronto FC), LW Edwin Mosquera (Independiente Medellín), CB Juan José Purata (Tigres, loan)
Key Departures - AM Ezequiel Barco (River Plate, loan), LB George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld), LW Jake Mulraney (Orlando City), CF Erik Lopez (Banfield, loan)
Take a look at Atlanta’s full roster here.
Injuries have plagued Atlanta United all season, with three-quarters of their backline (Andrew Gutman, Miles Robinson and Brooks Lennon) as well as goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso all out long-term. They’ve made a couple of additions to start the summer transfer window, though, adding center back Juan José Purata on loan from Tigres and young Colombian winger Edwin Mosquera through the league’s new U-22 Initiative. Purata made his first MLS start on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake.
Atlanta legend Josef Martínez went off on his teammates and front office after being drubbed 3-0 at home by Austin FC last weekend, saying “if you don't come here for 100%, you don't have to [choose] this club to play,” among other choice words. The team responded with a 2-1 victory over RSL on Wednesday night, with Atlanta manager Gonzalo Pineda opting for Ronaldo Cisneros over Martínez at center forward and getting a brace from the on-loan Mexican. Even with that result, though, Atlanta is still 3-7-4 over its past 14 MLS matches.
Atlanta owned this rivalry for three years, at one point winning six straight against Orlando City in all competitions, but the tables have been turned since Oscar Pareja came to the City Beautiful. Orlando is 3-1-3 against Atlanta under Pareja, only losing its unbeaten mark in the teams’ last matchup, a 3-0 Atlanta win at the Benz on September 10, 2021.
Rasmussen University Fact
Orlando and Atlanta hooked up on a deal back in May to send Jake Mulraney to the Lions for allocation money, a rare trade between fierce rivals. But did you know the two teams had made a trade before? In December 2016, Orlando City dealt the No. 8 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft to Atlanta for left back Donny Toia, whom the Five Stripes had just picked up in the Expansion Draft. That draft pick went on to become Julian Gressel, one of the top wingbacks in the league and a key piece of Atlanta’s 2018 MLS Cup run. The two teams also made a deal that same month that sent Harrison Heath to Atlanta for a draft pick.