Gressel, Villalba help Atlanta United beat Real Salt Lake
ATLANTA (AP) — Julian Gressel had a goal and an assist to help Atlanta United beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night.
Gressel, who had five goals and nine assists as a rookie in 2017, has 14 assists this season, tied for second-most in MLS. The 24-year old chest-trapped an arcing cross from Miguel Almiron and, after one bounce, ripped a side-netter inside the far post to open the scoring in the 37th minute.
Hector Villalba blasted a left-footed half-volley, off a throw-in by Gressel, off the post and, after it ricocheted off the back of diving goalkeeper Nick Rimando, into the net in the 61st to make it 2-0.
Real Salt Lake (13-11-6), which had its four-game unbeaten streak —including three wins — snapped, had three chances in the final minutes: Atlanta’s Brad Guzan stopped shots from Albert Rusnak and Kyle Beckerman and Joao Plata narrowly missed a left-footer.
It was RSL’s second loss since July 14.
Atlanta United (19-5-6) has won five of its last six games has just one loss in its last 11.