Atlanta United 2, L.A. Galaxy 0: Player ratings

My ratings for Atlanta United's players from Saturday's 2-0 win against the L.A. Galaxy at Stubhub Center:

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 7: Forced to stop just one shot, he nevertheless was pressed into action to scoop up a few through balls and crosses. His distribution was solid and he dealt with the aerial threats that were Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ola Kamara.

Right wingback Julian Gressel, 8: Continued his impressive form with three passes in the first eight minutes that were video-game accurate. ... A man-of-the-match candidate after creating what Opta said was one chance, but was actually many more. ... Playing like the best right fullback/wingback in MLS. ... Added three shots, one on goal.

Centerback  Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, 8: There was some pre-game curiosity whether Gonzalez Pirez would finish the game because he has a history of yellow cards and tangling with Ibrahimovic didn't figure to be easy. ... He did the job and the only tangling happened when he stepped on Sebastian Lletget's forearm and turned his ankle in the first half. ... He completed 85.5 percent of his passes and had a tackle.

Centerback Michael Parkhurst, 8.5: Leading a defense that has three shutouts in its past four games. ... Kept the backline organized and mostly compact against a Galaxy offense that can score in spurts. ... Positioning was so good that he didn't need to make a tackle.

Centerback Chris McCann, 8: Ibrahimovic eventually began retreating deeper and deeper to try to get the ball. ... McCann continues to grow into a centerback. ... Hit a beautifully weighted pass to Josef Martinez in the first half.

Left wingback Greg Garza, 8: Joined Gressel in putting in several quality crosses in the first half. ... Also not credited with creating a chance, which to me means Opta needs to re-calibrate its criteria. ... Finished with two tackles.

Defensive midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, 8.5: Continues to do his job without much flair. ... The 36-year-old said those who say he can't finish the season are incorrect. He will continue to do the job for as long as Martino needs him. ... Completed 96 percent of his passes, made several timely interceptions and tied for the team high with three tackles.

Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, 8: Several excellent runs in the first half, and then tracked back on defense in the 45th minute to head away a cross. ... Really developing in his role as a defensive/offensive midfielder.

Midfielder Miguel Almiron, 8: Drew a penalty in the 20th minute when he was taken by down by Rolf Feltscher. ... Converted a penalty in 90+4. ... Was fouled four times, leading manager Gerardo Martino to say several of them should have resulted in orange cards.

Striker Ezequiel Barco, 7.5: A solid, albeit unspectacular first-time start. ... Created several chances. ... Missed one shot early in the first half that he should have put on frame. ... Defense was as expected. ... Combined well with Almiron in the second half.

Striker Josef Martinez, 7.5: Missed a penalty kick in the 20th minute when his shot hit the left post. ... Made up for it less than two minutes later with a tap-in for his sixth goal this season. ... Brief scare in the 45th minute when he was forced off after hitting his injured hand against a Galaxy defender. ... Had a point-blank shot stopped by David Bingham in the second half. ... Didn't seem in sync with anyone on crosses throughout the night.


Kevin Kratz (on for Martinez, 80th minute), 7: His pass to spring Romario Williams up the left was a thing of beauty.

Romario Williams (on for Barco, 83rd minute), 7: Instead of shooting with his favored left foot, Williams cut back and drew the penalty kick that iced the game.

Sal Zizzo (on for Gressel, 90th minute), NR.