Valot scores as Red Bulls down Atlanta United 1-0

MLS

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP)Florian Valot scored in the opening minutes, and the New York Red Bulls beat Atlanta United 1-0 on Saturday night in the MLS is Back tournament.

The game was delayed for 45 minutes because of lightning in the area. The tournament is being played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World.

Valot, who missed most of the past two seasons with ACL injuries, scored in the fourth minute. He took a long pass from Kaku and ran it up to beat Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Atlanta had a chance to even the match in the 41st minute but George Bello’s shot caromed off the crossbar.

Red Bulls goalkeeper David Jensen smothered a left-footed drive from Jake Mulraney in stoppage time, then got a hand on Adam Jahn’s header and pushed it over the bar to preserve the win. Jensen finished with four saves.

The Red Bulls had a win and a draw to start the season before it was shut down by the coronavirus on March 12.

Atlanta started the season with a pair of wins, but the opener against expansion Nashville SC was costly: Forward Josef Martinez, the league’s MVP and top scorer in 2018, tore an ACL in the game and won’t return this season.

Nashville withdrew from the MLS is Back tournament on Thursday after nine players tested positive for COVID-19. FC Dallas withdrew earlier after 10 players and a coach tested positive for the virus.

The 24 remaining teams are divided into six groups for the World Cup-style tournament, with results from the group stage counting toward the regular season.

Atlanta acquired winger Jurgen Damm from Tigres UANL of Liga MX earlier this month, but he was not eligible to play in the MLS is Back tournament.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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