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Atlanta United suffered their first defeat under interim head coach Rob Valentino on Wednesday, ending an undefeated streak in their previous four MLS matches. Daniel Ríos’ late goal on Saturday prevented New England from securing a clean sheet. Atlanta United now holds a record of 2-1-1 in their last four road matches.

Prior to facing New England and Real Salt Lake away, the 5-Stripes secured their first home win since March in dramatic fashion. A last-second goal by Jamal Thiaré led Atlanta United to a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC.

Real Salt Lake is enjoying a strong season, currently holding second place in the MLS Western Conference with 40 points. They played a match on Wednesday as well, securing a 3-2 victory over Houston Dynamo FC with goals from Braian Ojeda, Diego Luna, and Andes Gomez.

These two clubs have met only four times, with Atlanta securing three wins. Their last encounter took place nearly two years ago on July 13, 2022, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Atlanta United clinched a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Players to Watch

Daniel Ríos (Atlanta United): Throughout the 2024 season, there have been changes to Atlanta United’s starting lineup due to injuries, call-ups from abroad, and transfers. Ever since his acquisition in late March, Daniel Ríos has demonstrated his ability to create excellent scoring opportunities. His two most recent goals came late in the game against the New England Revolution and an equalizer against St. Louis CITY SC.

Cristian Arango (Real Salt Lake): The forward from Columbia was just chosen for the MLS 2024 All-Star Game in addition to dominating the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals. Arango has made just 31 appearances since joining Real Salt Lake during the 2023 Secondary Transfer Window, yet he has already tallied 22 goals and 12 assists.

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