My choice for Atlanta United’s man of the match from Saturday’s game at Philadelphia:
Why? He entered the game for Anton Walkes in the 75th minute. In the 91st minute, Mears’ headed goal tied the game 2-2 to salvage a point for Atlanta United (10-8-6).
The play started with a cross from Mears to left fullback Greg Garza, who put the ball back across the penalty box. Goalkeeper Andre Blake got a hand on Garza’s cross, punching the ball high into the air. Mears ran past a defender and said he was trying to head the ball back toward the goal. He wasn’t necessarily trying to score. It was his first goal this season and second since joining MLS in 2015 with Seattle.
Mears started 14 of the season’s first 15 games before manager Gerardo Martino elected to put in Anton Walkes for the next seven games.
Mears hasn’t played in a league game since his last start, a 2-1 loss at D.C. United on June 21.
“I always have to be ready,” Mears said. “It’s been tough to be on the bench, but I got the call tonight. The coach told me to go forward and that’s what I tried to do.”
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