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CCL Rewind: Atlanta United completes epic comeback to advance

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Before the match, Atlanta United’s chances of advancing to the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League were slim. That all changed inside the first minute of the game.

Josef Martinez’s goal in the first 60 seconds set the tone as Atlanta United went on to rout Costa Rican side Herediano, 4-0, winning 5-3 on aggregate. Martinez finished with two goals, including the one that finally put Atlanta United ahead midway through the second half. Julian Gressel scored in the ninth minute while defender Leandro Gonzalez Pires powered home a header in the 83rd minute to put the finishing touches on the match.

[READ: Projecting the next USMNT squad]

Whether due to early-season jitters, the playing surface or rustiness, Atlanta United did not look its former self in the first leg of the encounter. On Thursday night, it looked like the dominant Atlanta United of old, even though they played at Kennesaw St.’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Frank De Boer stuck with his 3-4-3 formation, though he brought in Brek Shea, who created a spark down the left for the first goal. Shea’s cross was mis-cleared right into the path of Martinez, who finished for a goal.

The intensity and performance should help Atlanta carry the early-season momentum in MLS into the next round of the Champions League. Plus, as Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez, Josef Martinez and Ezequiel Barco grow in chemistry, so exciting attacking options should be on display one day.

Paul Pogba’s brother Florentin signs with Atlanta United

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Pogba is coming to MLS. Well, Florentin to be exact.

Atlanta United announced on Tuesday evening that it had signed Florentin Pogba, the order brother of Paul, on a free transfer. Florentin Pogba most recently played for Gençlerbirliği in Turkey, where he stayed for one year.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

“We’re pleased to officially welcome Florentin to our club,” Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He’s a physical center back who also has the ability to play with his feet. He also brings an immense amount of experience after representing his club and country in various international tournaments and we expect him to compete for playing time on our backline.”

The 28-year-old defender comes into Atlanta as a depth signing to provide cover for aging centerbacks Jeff Larentowicz and Michael Parkhurst.

Pogba, who was born in Guinea before moving to France as an infant along with his twin brother Mathias, plays for the Guinea National steam. He was a former France youth international.