Atlanta United’s Araujo impressed in MLS debut

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Luiz Araujo impressed his new Atlanta United teammates in his debut during Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Toronto at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Araujo, who started as a right forward in a 3-4-3 formation, neither scored nor created a chance during his 66 minutes, 44 seconds but he showed a fantastic first touch and ability to beat multiple opponents with his dribbling. The Brazilian finished with two shots, one on goal, two tackles and a 93.3 pass completion percentage.

“I think he’s a bright talent,” fullback Brooks Lennon. “He showed his qualities tonight and in spurts. His first touch was, was immaculate. So we’re really excited to have him in the team. And hopefully you can push forward and get some goals for us and assists.”

Araujo’s first shot in the eighth minute was the team’s first on goal and forced a very good save by Toronto’s Quentin Westberg to keep the left-footed effort from sailing into the goal’s top right corner. Araujo’s second shot was blocked.

His dribbling was inspiring. In one play during the second half, he tried to chip one Toronto defender. The ball wasn’t hit high enough to clear him. Araujo pounced on the block, kept going, and then megged a second defender. It was at least the second time that night that he took on and beat multiple defenders.

“I think he’s an excellent player,” midfielder Ezequiel Barco said. “He showed that tonight on the field, he showed that he was off to the level of the match. And I think that’s going to help us.”

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Atlanta United’s 2021 MLS schedule

April 17 Atlanta United 0, Orlando 0

April 24 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 1

May 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

May 9 Atlanta United 1, Inter Miami 1,

May 15 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

May 23 Atlanta United 1, Seattle 1

May 29 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

June 20 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

June 23 NYCFC 1, Atlanta United 0

June 27 Atlanta United 0, New York Red Bulls 0

July 3 Chicago 3, Atlanta United 0

July 8 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

July 17 New England 1, Atlanta United 0

July 21 Atlanta United 1, Cincinnati 1

July 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Orlando 3, Atlanta United 2

Aug. 4 Atlanta United 2, Montreal 2

Aug. 7 Atlanta United 3, Columbus 2

Aug. 15 Atlanta United 1, LAFC 0

Aug. 18 Atlanta United 1, Toronto

Aug. 21 at D.C. United, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 28 vs. Nashville, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 10 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 15 vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 18 vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 25 at Philadelphia,3:30 p.m., Univision

Sept. 29 vs. Inter Miami, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 2 at Montreal, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 16 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 20 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Oct. 30 vs. Toronto, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 3 at New York Red Bulls, TBD, BSSO/BSSE

Nov. 7 at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE