Atlanta United’s Gutman scored 20,000th goal in MLS history

CINCINNATI -- Andrew Gutman didn’t know that he had scored the 20,000th goal in MLS history until one of the team’s equipment managers told him while asking him to sign the ball.

The goal, scored in the 83rd minute to secure a 2-2 draw at TQL Stadium on Saturday, happened at 9:17:23, according to MLS.

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The first, of course, was scored by Eric Wynalda on April 6, 1996 to lead San Jose past D.C. United.

“I don’t know why,” Gutman said of signing the ball. “I don’t get any bonus for it. I don’t get anything for it. But MLS loves it. You know?”

The strike was a delicate chip from just a few yards, assisted by Josef Martinez and Thiago Almada.

Gutman said a few seasons ago he may have rushed the shot. But with experience he knew he had time to pick a spot.

“So body control and mind control kind of just slow down for a second,” Gutman said. “See the goalie and then make your decision.”

It was the second consecutive game that Gutman scored to secure a positive result. He scored the winner, a rocket of a shot from 22 yards, to lift Atlanta United past Seattle, 2-1, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

These were the first two goals he has scored for the team. He has put eight of his 17 shots on goal this season.

“I think I’ve missed too many chances this year,” he said. “If I finished all my goals, I might be leading goal scorer.”

The goals came in his second and third appearances since returning from a quad injury he suffered at Nashville in the U.S. Open Cup on May 11.

Gutman said it was the first muscle injury he had suffered and it affected him mentally not being able to help the team.

“Once I started to get back healthy, I just found like a new love and passion for the game this year,” he said. “And so now when I get on the field, I want to help the team as much as I can, whether I’m playing center back, left back, you know, center mid, whatever it is, I’ll do whatever for the team.”

His manager says Gutman has helped the team a lot.

“After the injury, maybe the good luck came back to him,” Gonzalo Pineda said. “And he’s scoring goals and very important goals. But I think is the reward for someone that works very hard every day. So kudos to him, I think he’s doing a very good job in every aspect in his game.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE