Atlanta United are more than holding their own in their debut MLS campaign and on Sunday held Eastern Conference champions Toronto FC to a 2-2 draw despite having Yamil Asad sent off with fifteen minutes remaining.
Despite Tata Martino’s side losing leading scorer Josef Martínez to injury during the international break, former San Lorenzo youngster Héctor Villalba proved a decent alternative with two goals.
Villalba’s pace since bursting into the San Lorenzo first team has always been his most dangerous weapon and Miguel Almirón in the first half and Leandro González Pirez after the break both found him with balls over the Toronto defence.
With only a single defeat in the opening five matches, Martino’s Atlanta are firmly in the playoff picture at this early stage.
DC United earned back-to-back wins after a 2-1 victory against New York City FC with Luciano Acosta netting the all important second. Lloyd Sam had put the home side ahead but it was the pint-sized playmaker who doubled the lead and ensured that David Villa’s late goal was nothing more than a consolation.
And FC Dallas maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 win over Minnesota. Veteran playmaker Javier Morales poked in the opener just before half time and the home side wrapped up the points after the break.