Immediately following his club’s 2-1, home-opening win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday night, Atlanta United midfielder Emerson Hyndman said “I just have to choose my moments.”
Two matches into the 2020 MLS schedule, Hyndman has been choosing those moments quite well. The almost-24-year-old Texas native has netted the difference-making goal both times out so far for the Five Stripes in their impressive 2-0 start to the season.
Last week, Hyndman was awarded MLS Goal of the Week. Saturday evening, he put United on top 2-0 in the 55th minute and helped his team hang on the rest of the way.
Quality from @emersonhyndman. 🔥
— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) March 8, 2020
Ezequiel Barco assisted on Hyndman’s goal and opened the scoring earlier in the match with one of his own. After the match, Barco could be seen hammering home the Golden Spike for his performance.
There was a nice sense of déjà vu in this one, as, for the second consecutive Saturday, United won 2-1 with goals coming from both Barco and Hyndman in that order. Pity Martinez also got his name in the boxscore Saturday night via a beautiful entry feed for Barco’s 21st-minute goal.
Pity, Pity good.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
Up 2-0 with 35 minutes remaining — five minutes of stoppage time were ultimately added – following Hyndman’s goal, United turned it up on the defensive side. Aside from a shifty shot off the foot of Cincy striker Yuya Kubo that got past the back line and goalie Brad Guzan in the 64th minute, Coach Frank de Boer had to be pleased with the fight his squad put up to hang onto this one.
Even still, de Boer, who now has an impressive 30 victories over his first 50 matches at the helm for United, stated after this win that “I know we can play better.”
As nice as this one was Saturday evening, de Boer is correct. United is almost certainly going to have to play at least a little bit better if they hope to hang with Club América in the Quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. The first leg of that action will go down in Mexico City this upcoming Wednesday night.