March 18, 2023 – Major League Soccer (MLS) – Atlanta United FC News Release
ATLANTA – Four players scored five goals in Atlanta United’s dominant 5-1 win over the Portland Timbers Saturday before a crowd of 42,648 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the club now sits in first place in the Eastern Conference and remains unbeaten. All three of Atlanta’s Designated Players scored as Thiago Almada scored and assisted two goals, Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his debut club goal in his first start and Luiz Araújo and Caleb Wiley each added goals to continue their respective scoring streaks from last week’s win in Charlotte.
The match started with a nervous moment as Portland appeared to take the lead in the second minute when Eryk Williamson scored an impressive goal from distance. However, it was called back as Jaroslaw Niezgoda was ruled to be offside and in the line of sight of goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
From that moment on, Atlanta United took control of the match and never looked back. After netting his first career brace last week, Wiley opened the scoring in the 25th minute on a counterattack from a Portland corner. Franco Ibarra lobbed a ball up field for Almada who nodded it forward before delivering a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Wiley. The 18-year-old took one touch to enter the penalty area before calmly slotting home his third goal in just two games, tucking it inside the right post.
Almada scored a goal of the year candidate for the club’s second goal just before the half. Giakoumakis drew a foul roughly 35 yards from goal on the left side. Almada and Araújo each stood over the ball, but it was the Argentine who unleashed a world class, curling shot towards the far post which struck the top-right corner of the goal before hitting the back of the net and igniting the crowd.
Atlanta scored its third in the 59th minute. The play began as Araújo switched the field with a long pass to Wiley on the left side. Giakoumakis made a run into the center of the area, and the Homegrown delivered an inch-perfect early cross to the Greek forward as he headed in his first goal for Atlanta United.
Araújo joined in on the scoring in the 75th minute. Almada effortlessly chipped a 30-yard pass to the feet of the Brazilian who was making a run into the box. Araújo was immediately draped by a Portland defender but did well to keep possession and muscled his way into the penalty area before firing a left-footed shot…
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