Julian Gressel had a goal and assisted on Josef Martinez’s second-half tally, and Miguel Almiron capitalized on two penalty kicks in the final five minutes as Atlanta United handed Los Angeles FC its second straight loss 5-0 Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Gressel opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Almiron got inside the left side of the box and found Parkhurst making a run to the back line. Parkhurst delivered a perfect left-footed cross past multiple LAFC defenders and right to a wide-open Gressel for the easy finish.
Atlanta controlled the first 45 minutes, but LAFC looked to have the momentum to open the second half. But Gressel changed that, putting a perfect first touch on a ball down the right sideline and then lofting a pass toward the back post where Martinez was waiting for a header that gave United a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute. It was Martinez’s 24th goal in 25 regular-season matches.
Almiron tacked on goals on penalty kicks in the 88th minute and in stoppage time to salt the game away late. United has scored 11 goals in its three home games this season.
United forward Romario Williams scored his first career MLS goal seven minutes into stoppage time in the second half.
Atlanta (4-1-0) has won four straight games since dropping its opener 4-0 at the Houston Dynamo.
LAFC (2-2-0) got off to a 2-0 start in its inaugural season but has now dropped two straight, including last week’s deflating meltdown in a loss to LA Galaxy.
LAFC squandered a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 loss to the Galaxy last week.
Atlanta will host New York City FC on April 15. NYCFC is the only unbeaten team in MLS one month into the season.
LAFC stays on the road for three more games, before returning home to open their new stadium on May 5. LAFC faces Vancouver on Friday.
—Field Level Media