Atlanta United lost a third consecutive league match Saturday night, 3-0 to rival Charlotte FC. The loss was also the fourth consecutive in all competitions for United. The difference between this match and the two previous losses is that this time it was at home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Prior to Saturday night, United had not lost a match on their home turf. In front of 43,427 fans they proceeded to give up the most goals they have all season at home.

Coming off of consecutive losses in Nashville (3-1) and Inter Miami the past two weeks, United needed a victory at home to reverse momentum. Instead of victories won, United goalkeepers have given up eight goals the past three matches. That is not including a 2-1 US Open Cup loss to Memphis at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw April 26.

Supporters of Charlotte FC celebrate a goal by midfielder Justin Meram during a Major League Soccer match against Atlanta United on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Charlotte FC midfielder Justin Meram scored the first goal of the match in the 17th minute. Meram started 14 of the 20 games he played for United during the 2019 season. he scored four goals during that campaign.

The goal on Saturday night made Meram the second former United player to score against the team in consecutive weeks. Both Inter Miami goals were scored by former United star Josef Martinez.

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Charlotte FC forward Karol Swiderski scored the second goal of the match following a red card on United’s Andrew Gutman in the box. Swiderski connected on the penalty kick, his third goal of the season.

United wouldn’t score its first goal until late in the match when Juan Purata headed in a corner kick from Thiago Almada, who made a number of quality passes during the match. In nine matches this season Almada has a team-high six assists and is tied for the team lead in goals with five.

Down 3-1 at the end of regulation, eight minutes of stoppage time would not be enough for the home team to find a pair of goals needed to tie the match.

Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda stands for the Star-Spangled Banner before a Major League Soccer match against Charlotte FC on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)


Atlanta United will host the Colorado Rapids Wednesday, May 17 (7:30 p.m.) before traveling to face Chicago Fire Saturday, May 20.

Asked what the team could take from this match into Wednesday night against Colorado, United head coach Gonzalo Pineda said, “Before Charlotte’s first goal we were disrupting them very, very well and I really like the movement of the ball. It was kid of cohesive movements and patterns of play that they found on their own.”

Pineda used a particular run of play by Almada when he dribbled past a trio of Charlotte defenders to cross a pass near goal as an example.

He added “consistency” in play needs to be a priority in training before Wednesday.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...