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Atlanta United wins 2020 home opener

Atlanta United midfielder Gonzalo Pity Martinez #10 celebrates after Atlanta United’s first goal of the first half of the 2020 home opener against FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday March 7, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United defeated FC Cincinnati 2-1 Saturday night in the team’s first home match of the 2020 season.

A goal from Ezequiel Barco and Emerson Hyndman gave the Five Stripes its second victory of the 2020 season.

For Atlanta, this was the team’s first match without Josef Martinez, who suffered a torn ACL injury against Nashville SC in the season opener.

Heading into next week, Atlanta will travel to Mexico City to face Club America Wednesday night for the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

“You know, we have to really play as a team. We did that today. Every game we have to show that. I think we have enough quality on the pitch to get a good result at Azteca. It’s going to be difficult,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said. “They have one more day rest than us. The altitude can have a big influence. We have to be really clever and not to do crazy things. Recovery starts tonight for Wednesday. It’s going to be a tough game for sure, but hopefully we can get a good result.”

During Saturday’s match against Cincy, George Campbell made his MLS debut after coming in as a substitute for Laurence Wyke.

“Again, you know a young kid getting his debut and coming in and doing a job. I think in these moments it’s not always easy for him to come in a game like it was, how it was playing out,” De Boer said. “It’s another step of the learning process for him individually, and for us as a team you try and help them through these difficult times.”

The Five Stripes will also face Sporting KC Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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