The Revolution’s first ever meeting with new expansion team Atlanta United ended in 7-0 humiliation, equaling the record for worst MLS defeat.
It only took Atlanta 72 seconds to get on the score sheet, as Miguel Almirón split Antonio Delamea and Claude Dielna with a through ball, finding Josef Martinez, who fired it past Cody Cropper at a tough angle. This early breakdown was only the beginning of what would shape up to be the Revolution’s worst loss in team history.
From bad to worse
In 16th minute, while Revolution still trailed 1-0, Xavier Kouassi was whistled for a foul on Yamil Asad. The Referee decided to consult the VAR on the play, and after watching the replay, decided to give Kouassi a red card. The call was considered controversial, but Kouassi did lunge out and catch Asad with his studs, and was not near the ball. At this point in the game, The Revolution had to come back from 1-0 deficit on the road with only 10, which proved to be a tough ask.
The 10 men Revolution held strong until the 29th minute, when Je-Vaughn Watson blocked Greg Garza’s shot with his arm in the box, resulting in a penalty. Martinez calmly slotted the penalty in the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.
From worse to worst nightmare
Eight minutes later, Martinez had a shot blocked from six yards out by a leaping dive from Delamea. After multiple claims for handball, the referee consulted VAR for the second time in the game. In the end, the referee awarded a penalty and sent off Delamea for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. With the Revs stranded with 9 men now, losing two of their top defensive players, Martinez completed his hat trick from the penalty spot to make the game 3-0.
Atlanta did not let up, and continued to press the Revolution further and further back into their own penalty area. In second minute of first-half stoppage time, Greg Garza played a cross into the Revolution box that no players picked up, allowing Atlanta fullback Anton Walkes to calmly slot it passed Cropper to make it 4-0. The Revolution went into the locker after the first half with a mountain to climb in the second half.
The Revolution began the second half by bringing on Scott Caldwell and Daigo Kobayashi to help stop the bleeding. The Revolution started off the second half much calmer than they were before the half time whistle, playing the ball around the back to kill time from the clock. However, this would not last.
In the 70th minute Juan Agudelo conceded a free kick in the defensive half, which ended up setting up a stunning free kick goal from Atlanta’s Kevin Kratz to make it a whopping 5-0.
More late blunders
After conceding the fifth goal, the Revolution calmed down again and began to take back some control of the game. In the 73rd, Cropper produced a great save off an effort from Miguel Almirón, but unluckily, Teal Bunbury slipped as he was attempting to clear the ball, allowing Yamil Asad to take the ball and slot it in the bottom corner from just outside the box to make it 6-0.
The game could have gotten even worse for the Revolution in the 83rd minute, when Cropper went down with an apparent thigh injury. The trainers came out to work on the goaltender, but as the Revolution had already used all their subs, he was forced to carry on. While he was seen limping multiple times as the game came to a close, Cropper was able to finish game.
In the 90th minute, just after the Referee declared there would be no added time, Andrew Farrell made a trademark bicycle kick clearance to force a late corner. Atlanta took the corner shot, fired a shot on net which was saved by Cropper, but the rebound was fired into the top corner by Héctor Villalba to cap off an emphatic 7-0 victory for Atlanta.
After this disastrous loss, the Revolution travel to Kansas City Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 p.m. to play Sporting Kansas City, a team that has not lost at home all season. The Revs will be without Kouassi and Delamea.
With this loss, the Revolution sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and six points out of the final playoff spot.