Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United | August 24th 2018

Aug 24, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (middle) celebrates a goal by holding up his jersey to the crowdb during the second half against the Orlando City FC at Orlando City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando, FL – MLS history was made in Orlando on Friday, as Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez scored his 28th goal of the MLS regular season in a 2-1 win over The Lions. Martinez’s winner broke the record of goals scored in a single season, a 27-goal mark established in the league’s debut season of 1996 and reached over the years by Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski and Bradley Wright-Phillips. Not bad for only your second year in the league.

Atlanta opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Ezequiel Barco bounced a free kick off City goalkeeper Joe Bendik and Leandro González Pirez was there to put away the rebound. City kept the pressure going through the half and eventually equalized it in the 39th minute when Will Johnson found Scott Sutter in the box. Sutter drilled a right-footed shot from 17 yards out that whizzed past Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The remainder of the match was very closely contested, but Josef Martínez scored his record-breaking game-winner in the 74th minute.

The nationally televised game was the featured matchup for ESPN’s rivalry week. This was the third and final clash of the season between the two squads. Hopefully, Beckham and his peoples are taking good notes on how to build a successful franchise and fanbase. Speaking of fans, 25,058 came out for this tightly contested game. Unfortunately for the Lions, the 2-1 loss Friday night makes it 14 losses in the team’s last 16 games.

“Obviously very disappointed. It was a game we wanted to try and win for the supporters. Very, very disappointed,” Lions head coach James O’Connor said. “We need to be honest with ourselves. Look, we can point and we can say we had some key players missing, but again, for me they’re excuses. I think for where we want to get to and where we’re going to get to, we need levels of performance that are higher.”

The Lions are now in last place in the East and second to last in the league. Next up for Orlando is this Saturday, September 1 vs. Philadelphia Union 7:30 pm ET.

📷Credit: John Chapman
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