It’s a Major League Soccer first for Frankie Amaya…
The 19-year-old Mexican American soccer player scored his first career goal in the 76th minute, and FC Cincinnati took advantage of nine-man Atlanta United team to pull off a stunning 1-0 victory Thursday in the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando.
The win was the first of the season for Cincinnati (1-0-3, 3 points), and an even bigger upset within Group E at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Cincinnati lost its opener 4-0 to rival Columbus, but prevailed thanks to an undisciplined Atlanta side that finished the match with nine men.
Amaya showed his strength and accuracy with a bending strike from just outside the center of the box, beating an outstretched Brad Guzan into the far-left corner for the game’s lone goal.
For Atlanta (2-0-2, four points), the loss could be a crushing blow to its hopes of reaching the knockout round. Playing without injured star Josef Martinez (torn ACL), Atlanta opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
This marked the first time in club history that Atlanta has failed to score in back-to-back regular-season MLS contests. It obviously did not help that they played most of the match a man down.
Atlanta went down to 10 men when midfielder Jake Mulraney was sent off in the 26th minute for a pressing foul that also happened to be his second yellow card of the match. However, Atlanta’s Pity Martinez had a point-blank chance late in the first half, but Cincinnati keeper Przemyslaw Tyton was up to the task.
It appeared Martinez was set for a penalty shot in the final seconds of the first half after being fouled deep in the box. However, a VAR check ruled he was offside before the infraction.
Cincinnati eventually stepped up the pressure. When Adrien Regattin found Amaya amid some traffic, the talented youngster drilled his left-footed attempt into the goal, and enough for FCC to record its first league victory since Sept. 14.
Atlanta dropped to nine men when JJ Williams was slapped with a red card late in stoppage time.
Amaya was the first overall draft pick of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, and the first first-overall pick to be born in the 2000s. Amaya played one year of college soccer for UCLA and prior to UCLA, played club soccer with Pateadores SC, a premier youth club in Southern California.