Birmingham Legion FC vs. Atlanta United 2
Saturday, August 6th
7:00pm CT Kickoff
Protective Stadium – Birmingham, AL
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Legion FC returns to Protective Stadium on Saturday, August 6th to take on Southeastern rival Atlanta United 2 at 7:00pm CT looking to continue its recent momentum and march up the table.
A last-minute goal by Enzo Martinez in second half stoppage time earned the Three Sparks the win in its last match at Hartford last weekend, and the club’s last home game was record-breaking, as Legion FC scored six goals in a win, its most goals ever in a home match.
Birmingham has won four of its last six, with one loss and one draw. Its draw was the last matchup between Legion and Atlanta United 2 on July 6th, which saw both sides score three goals. This time around, Birmingham will look to replicate what it did in the attack against an ATL2 team that has conceded the most goals in the USL Championship this season.
Legion FC is tied for the second fewest conceded goals in the league (20), and goalkeeper Matt VanOekel leads the way as he’s tied for first in the USLC in clean sheets (nine) and is third in saves (57). After a stellar defensive performance last week against Hartford Athletic, which saw VanOekel record six saves and defender Alex Crognale lead the team with seven clearances, Birmingham’s backline has the confidence to hold off a strong Atlanta attack.
In their last matchup, it was midfielders Zach Herivaux, Bruno Lapa, and Enzo Martinez who found the back of the Atlanta net. Lapa is in great form and scored the first hattrick in Legion FC history versus Loudoun on July 27. He was named USLC Player of the Week, sharing Team of the Week honors with fellow Legionnaire Jonny Dean.
Atlanta visits the Magic City winless in its last six, with two wins and nine losses on the road this season. In its last match, a draw versus Las Vegas Lights, defender Nelson Orji scored the equalizing goal in Atlanta’s 1-1 draw before he received a red card in that match, and therefore will not be eligible to play Saturday.
The ATL attack is led by Jackson Conway (six goals, 43 shots), Tristan Trager (six goals) and Raimar (four assists, 22 chances created), with Trager scoring one of the club’s three goals in the last matchup between these two opponents. Luckily for Birmingham, midfielder Robbie Mertz was the ATL captain that day and provided two assists, but he has since been traded to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
This matchup has historically been rather one-sided, as Legion FC has never lost a game versus Atlanta United 2. The Black and Gold have six wins and two draws against Two-Nited, while scoring 23 goals and conceding six.
For this week’s UAB Medicine Injury Report, defender Jake Rufe is out due to a lower body injury and defender Freddy Kleemann is out due to a torn ACL.
While kickoff for this match was originally schedule for 6:30pm, it has been pushed back a bit and will now kickoff at 7:00pm CT. Fans can grab tickets today! Your ticket for #BHMvATL will also grant you access to the Legion FC Academy game, kicking off at Protective Stadium at 4:00pm. Come support the next generation of Legion stars and Hammer Down!
For team updates, news and more, follow @bhmlegion on social media, sign up for Legion FC’s Newsletter, or visit bhmlegion.com. The Legion FC app is also available for download via Apple orAndroid. For gameday reminders, sync the Legion FC 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.