Original Free Kick: Atlanta United hosts Inter Miami CF in first meeting of two franchises

Atlanta United defender Brooks Lennon #11 dribbles the ball during the first half of the 2020 MLS season opener between Atlanta United FC and Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday February 29, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United hosts Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise Inter Miami CF Sept. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s the first lifetime meeting of the two franchises.
Atlanta enters the contest coming off of a 3-1 home loss to Orlando City SC Aug. 29. Brooks Lennon scored his first goal for Atlanta while Jurgen Damm notched an assist in his team debut. Ezequiel Barco also had an assist on Lennon’s goal in his first action for Atlanta since July 21 after missing the previous two games due to a lower leg injury.
Since joining MLS in 2017, Atlanta holds a 5-1-1 record against expansion sides, outscoring their opponents 21-5.
Miami also looks to rebound from a setback following its 1-0 defeat at fellow expansion team Nashville SC Aug. 30 for its sixth loss in seven contests for Miami this season. Miami made five substitutions in the 75th minute to spark the comeback attempt.
“We had 18 shots against five by [Nashville] playing on the road,” Miami manager Diego Alonso said according to the team’s Web page. “That’s without taking into account the countless crosses that we delivered. That speaks of the dominance we had on the pitch and the number of opportunities that we had.”
Atlanta was originally scheduled to play at Miami Aug. 26 but the contest was suspended due to both teams’ protest against social injustice and not participating in the competition. Miami has three former Atlanta players on its current roster; Mikey Ambrose, Brek Shea and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
“I think Miami played the lineup against Nashville that was going to be used against us,” Stephen Glass said. “We’re doing our homework on them. Miami is dangerous at the front end of the pitch, are fluid, move around and have multiple threats. We need to be on guard. Any game we’re at home with the players we have, we need to take charge.”

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