The Revolution came into Saturday’s matchup looking to bounce back after suffering a 3-2 defeat to the New York Red Bulls. Despite being at home, the Revs gave up three goals in the opening thirty minutes of the match.
A change to the Revs starting XI came Saturday as the formation moved to a 4-4-2 diamond shape. Wilfried Kaptoum replaced Teal Bunbury in the starting lineup.
The game featured some controversy before the opening whistle as Josef Martinez was absent from Atlanta United’s 20-man roster. The goal scorer is reportedly having issues with the Atlanta organization. Martinez has been missing since coach Gabriel Heinze asked the former MVP and Golden Boot winner to train away from the team.
Gustavo Bou looked to get the Revolution offense going in the 6th minute as he sent a shot towards Alec Kann, but Kann got his body onto the ball and knocked it out for a Revolution corner kick.
Adam Buksa looked to find a goal in the 9th minute after heading a Carles Gil corner kick from the center of the box on the net. Buksa’s header would trail off to the left and roll out for an Atlanta goal kick.
Bou found the opening goal in the 18th minute after Buksa’s pass led La Pantera towards the left. Bou then snuck past the trailing defender to slot the ball past Kann to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead!
Gil looked to double the lead in the 25th minute when he sent in a left-footed shot. In a familiar turn of events for the Revolution in 2021, the ball would bounce off the woodwork.
Buksa came close to finding a goal in the 36th minute as he sent a left-footed shot on goal, but it would be directly at Kann, who deflected the ball out for a corner kick.
With a goal under their belt, the Revolution entered the half with a chip on their shoulder. It was a different story for Atlanta United as they looked to regroup and find an answer to their recent woes.
The Revolution’s first substitution came in the 67th minute as Tommy McNamara would come on for Wilfried Kaptoum.
Atlanta defender Alan Franco was booked with a yellow card in the 69th minute after fouling McNamara.
Brandon Bye would keep the Revolution in the match in the 70th minute when the right back blocked Erik López’s shot.
Christian Mafla made his second appearance after coming on for DeJuan Jones in the 72nd minute. Jones appeared to be hobbling just moments before the change.
Forward Jackson Conway got a yellow card in the 75th minute after committing a foul on Henry Kessler. Kessler would retaliate a few minutes later when he received a yellow card in the 77th minute for fouling Conway.
Brad Knighton would come up big in the 81st minute after saving Amar Sejdic’s right-footed shot from outside the box. Knighton came close to rebounding the ball back into play but was able to keep ahold of the ball and put an end to Atlanta’s offensive chance.
The final two Revolution substitutions came in the 82nd minute when Arnór Traustason and Teal Bunbury came on for Maciel and Bou.
Gil looked to extinguish Atlanta’s hope in the 89th minute when he sent a long-range shot on goal from his free kick. It was too high of a hit from the midfield maestro as it would fly out for a goal kick.
Traustason would put in an excellent defensive effort as he was able to block Brooks Lennon’s shot in second-half stoppage time and put an end to Atlanta’s last offensive chance.
As the final whistle sounded, Bruce Arena and the Revolution rejoiced after securing their first win in four matches. More importantly, Saturday’s 1-0 win was the first time the Revolution secured any points inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium!
A massive improvement for goalkeeper Brad Knighton after earning the shutout over Atlanta with 5 saves on the night. It was a night and day performance for the 36-year-old keeper from his previous start against the Red Bulls.
With Saturday’s win, the Revs remain atop the Eastern Conference with an 8-3-3 record and 27 points. The Revolution return to action on Wednesday, July 21st when they travel to Fort Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami at 7:30 PM EST.