Giakoumakis and Gutman were credited with assists on Wolff’s goal, his third this season.
With the win, Atlanta United (7-4-7) improved to 6-1-2 at home in front of an announced attendance of 42,539. The team has a bye next week, though some players, including Miles Robinson, Thiago Almada and Giakoumakis, will report for international duty. The team kept pace with New England, which defeated Miami, for fourth place in the East.
Atlanta United put only three shots on target to D.C.’s 4, but finished with a higher expected goals total (1.41.-0.91).
“We had a very good performance, in my opinion,” Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda said. “So kudos to everyone that was able to deal with the challenges that they present. And I’m overall, very, very pleased with the performance.”
Pineda made two changes from the starting 11 on Wednesday that drew LAFC 0-0 without putting a shot on goal. Ajani Fortune, a Homegrown signee, was given his first MLS start in central midfield. Caleb Wiley started at left wing, with Derrick Etienne moving to the right in place of Luiz Araujo, who soon will leave to join Flamengo in Brazil. The rest of the 11 was composed of striker Giakoumakis, attacking midfielder Almada, defensive midfielder Franco Ibarra, fullbacks Brooks Lennon and Gutman, centerbacks Robinson and JuanJo Purata, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
D.C. United surprisingly came out playing a high defensive line, and Atlanta United burned it in the 13th minute when Robinson played a pass over the D.C.’s back five toward the right side of the 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Tyler Miller sprinted out to try get to the pass before Giakoumakis. Miller misjudged the speed of the ball. Giakoumakis got there first, controlled the pass, jumped over Miller, and passed the ball into the net from 20 yards. It was Robinson’s first assist this season and second in his career.
Giakoumakis said that through scouting, Pineda told the players that Miller would come out of the goal to try to gather long passes. So he wasn’t surprised when the situation happened.
“It wasn’t by luck,” Giakoumakis said.
D.C. United tied the score at 1-1 in the 27th minute on a goal by Taxi Fountas. Almada turned over the ball near midfield when all of Atlanta United’s players were near midfield or higher up the pitch. The ball went to Fountas, who had an open field in front of him. His low, hard shot beat Guzan to the far post.
D.C. United’s Lewis O’Brien hit the underside of Guzan’s crossbar with a shot that was deflected in the 37th minute. Somehow, the ball didn’t cross the line as it ricocheted down and into the turf.
Fountas missed a golden chance two minutes later when he was left unmarked 17 yards from goal. His shot flew over the crossbar.
“There was a moment in the first half that we were not sharp, and we started to lose control of the ball. Of course, not very pleased with that,” Pineda said. “But overall I think we’re the team that was trying to create spaces, to overload opponents.”
Atlanta United took a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute when Gutman scored from a tight angle. Almada split two D.C. United defenders with a delicate pass toward the touchline. Miller jumped out of his goal to his left, as if Gutman was going to cross the ball. Instead, Gutman blasted a shot past the near post. It was Gutman’s third goal and Almada’s ninth assist.
Pineda subbed in Tyler Wolff, and not Araujo, for Etienne in the 61st minute. Amar Sejdic came on for Fortune in the 71st minute.
A third goal by Atlanta United, scored by Wolff in the 73rd minute, was waved off when Gutman was judged to be offside. Pineda received a yellow card for arguing against the initial decision. The play went to a video review and was overturned. It was Wolff’s third goal this season, Gutman’s fifth assist and Giakoumakis’ first.
Pineda said that Wolff keeps improving and is being considered for a starting role.
“Just keep grinding, keep trying to learn and just take one step at a time,” Wolff said. “And hopefully my opportunities will keep coming.”
Miguel Berry, Machop Chol and Ozzie Alonso came on in the 84th minute for Giakoumakis, Wiley and Ibarra. Giakoumakis picked up a yellow card just before he was subbed out. Because of accumulation, he will miss Atlanta United’s next game, against NYCFC on June 21. The biggest cheers were for Alonso, who made his season debut for the club. It was his first action since sustaining an ACL injury at D.C. United in April 2022.
“Hopefully he can progress up to 90 minutes in the next couple of months, probably,” Pineda said of Alonso. “But he brings that experience in that part of the field, we know where he’s at his best. He’s also very physical. He’s also winning the duels. He knows how to seal that center of the field and on top of the center backs.”
Also leaving for international duty are Etienne (Haiti), Chol (South Sudan), Luis Abram (Peru) and Fortune (Trinidad and Tobago).
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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule
Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1
March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1
March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0
March 18 Atlanta United 5, Portland 1
March 25 Columbus 6, Atlanta United 1
April 1 Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 0
April 8 Atlanta United 1, New York City FC 1
April 15 Atlanta United 2, Toronto FC 2
April 23 Atlanta United 2, Chicago 1
April 29 Nashville SC 3, Atlanta United 1
May 6 Inter Miami CF 2, Atlanta United 1
May 13 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 1
May 17 Atlanta United 4, Colorado 0
May 20 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 3
May 27 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1
May 31 Atlanta United 3, New England 3
June 7 Atlanta United 0, LAFC 0
June 10 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
June 21 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
June 24 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m., Fox
July 8 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
July 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
July 15 vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m., FS1
July 25 at Miami in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.
July 29 vs. Cruz Azul in Leagues Cup, 8 p.m.
Aug. 20 at Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, TBA