Atlanta United Climbs to Top Spot in Eastern Conference, Wins 5-1 vs. Portland Timbers

March 18, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Atlanta United FC News Release

Atlanta United celebrates win
Atlanta United celebrates win
(Atlanta United FC)

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 that skipped by an outstretched Aljaz Ivacic.

Portland pulled one goal back as a pair of substitutes connected when Tega Ikoba headed in Diego Gutiérrez's cross in the 83rd minute. Almada, however, quickly restored Atlanta's four-goal lead in the 86th minute.

Substitute Derrick Etienne Jr. dribbled down the left side, cut in towards the top of the area and played a quick pass to Almada while looking for a give-and-go as he continued his run towards goal. Almada instead took the defense by surprise by taking one touch, turning and firing a low shot that rolled into the bottom-right corner, leaving Ivacic flat-footed. Almada became just the second player in club history to record two goals and two assists in a single game.

Atlanta United returns to action when it travels to face Columbus Crew March 25 at Field (7:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass, 92.9 The Game, La Mejor). All Atlanta United matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app.

Match Summary


Shots: 18-9 Atlanta

Shots on target: 8-3 Atlanta

Corner kicks: 3-3

Fouls Committed: 20-11 Atlanta

xG: 2.50 - 0.73 Atlanta

Possession: 59-41 Atlanta

Passing accuracy: 88-75 Atlanta


ATL - Caleb Wiley (Thiago Almada) 25'

ATL - Thiago Almada 45+5'

ATL - Giorgos Giakoumakis (Caleb Wiley, Luiz Araújo) 59'

ATL - Luiz Araújo (Thiago Almada) 75'

POR - Tega Ikoba (Diego Gutierrez) 83'

ATL - Thiago Almada (Derrick Etienne Jr., Andrew Gutman) 86'


POR - Larrys Mabiala 45+3' 🟨

POR - Claudio Bravo 61' 🟨

POR - Eryk Williamson 67' 🟨

POR - Zachery McGraw 68' 🟨

ATL - Santiago Sosa 81' 🟨 Notes

Thiago Almada became just the second player in club history to score two goals and assist two goals in the same game (Yamil Asad 9/20/17)

Almada leads MLS in goals and assists with four in each category

Almada created a career-high seven chances, which ties the second-most for a single match in club history

Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his first goal for the club and started his first match

Caleb Wiley scored his third goal of the season and recorded his second assist

Wiley is the second-youngest player in MLS history to score and assist a goal in consecutive matches (Diego Fagundez)

Luiz Araújo scored his second goal of the season

Derrick Etienne Jr. recorded his second assist of the season

Andrew Gutman recorded his first assist of the season

Miles Robinson became the fourth player in club history to appear in 100 MLS regular season games

Atlanta recorded six team assists, tying the single-match club record (9/10/22)

Atlanta United leads the league in goals (11) and assists (12)

Attendance: 42,648


GK: Brad Guzan (c)

D: Brooks Lennon

D: Miles Robinson (Luis Abram - 89')

D: Juanjo Purata

D: Andrew Gutman

M: Franco Ibarra (Santiago Sosa - 73')

M: Amar Sejdic (Ajani Fortune - 77')

M: Thiago Almada

M: Luiz Araujo

M: Caleb Wiley (Derrick Etienne Jr. - 73')

F: Giorgos Giakoumakis (Miguel Berry - 77')

Substitutes not used:

Quentin Westberg

Ronald Hernandez

Machop Chol


GK: Aljaz Ivacic

D: Claudio Bravo

D: Dario Zuparic

D: Zachery McGraw (Tega Ikoba - 78')

D: Juan Mosquera (Pablo Bonilla - 82')

D: Larrys Mabiala

M: Eryk Williamson

M: Diego Chara (c)

F: Jaroslaw Niezgoda (Diego Gutierrez - 78')

F: Santiago Moreno

F: Nathan Fogaca

Substitutes not used:

David Bingham

Justin Rasmussen

Marvin Loria


Ted Unkel (referee), Corey Parker (assistant), Ian McKay (assistant), Ben Pilgrim (fourth), Jair Marrufo (VAR), Jozef Batko (AVAR).

Media Contacts:

Chris Winkler - Director of Communications

Justin Veldhuis - Manager of Sports Communications


Chris Raimondi - Manager of Brand Communications


Johannes Schneider - Communications Coordinator


Images from this story

Atlanta United celebrates win
Atlanta United celebrates win


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