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Atlanta United's Franco Escobar and Paulo Neto advance to Championship Sunday of eMLS Tournament Special

May 11, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Atlanta United FC News Release

ATLANTA - eMLS Tournament Special Week Four presented by Coca-Cola® and PlayStation® saw Atlanta United defender Franco Escobar and eMLS teammate Paulo Neto advance to Championship Sunday on May 17. With the victory, Atlanta United secured the final spot for Championship Sunday joining Los Angeles Football Club, Sporting Kansas City and New York City FC.

As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, eMLS Tournament Special is a five-episode series that pits 16 MLS clubs against each other in EA SPORTS™ FIFA 20 competition. Four clubs compete each episode with the winning club from each of the first four weeks advancing to a Champions Bracket set to take place on Sunday, May 17. Clubs are represented by both an MLS player and eMLS professional FIFA player.

The opening match of Week Four showcased the Canada's Toronto FC versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In leg one, Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado took on Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Erik Godoy. Delgado scored three unanswered goals against Godoy including a spectacular finish with the digital version of himself. Toronto FC continued their momentum as PhilB94 notched the game-winner in leg two in the 84th minute to give Toronto FC the 4-0 victory over Vancouver on aggregate.

The second match of the night put Atlanta United's Escobar against Orlando City SC forward and soccer icon Nani. Escobar tallied two second half goals with his teammate Pity Martinez. Escobar's eMLS Tournament Special teammate Paulo Neto doubled their lead on aggregate adding a third goal with Josef Martinez and a fourth with P. Martinez.

With both Toronto FC and Atlanta United tallying 4-0 victories in their first matchups of the night, they both faced off against each other in the Week Four Final. Delgado gave Toronto FC the 1-0 lead in the 9th minute of gameplay with his teammate Jozy Altidore knocking it in the back of the net. Escobar was able to equalize using J. Martinez just before halftime so the eMLS competitors began leg two level with it 1-1 on aggregate. In leg two Toronto FC took the early lead, just like they did in leg one. This time PhilB94 used Spanish midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo to put Toronto FC back in the lead just seven minutes into leg two. Atlanta United FIFA Pro, Neto pulled it level just before the half with a smooth finish from P. Martinez. And it was Neto again, this time with J. Martinez tallying the game-winner to send Escobar and himself to eMLS Tournament Special Championship Sunday on May 17.

Escobar and Neto will face the winner of the Week Three Tournament, NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and eMLS FIFA Pro Chris Holly. On the other side of the bracket, Week One winner, LAFC (Adama Diomande and Martin 'RemiMartinn' Oregel) will face off against Week Two winner Sporting KC (Wan Kuzain and Alexander 'ALEKZANDUR Betancourt).

As a result of Atlanta United's victory tonight, a donation will be made by MLS WORKS and FOX Sports to Feeding America on behalf of Atlanta United, with MLS WORKS also contributing to Food Banks Canada.

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