Top Stories

Atlanta reaches ‘different’ level while creating more momentum at new stadium


There’s no other way to describe it. Atlanta United’s 7-0 win over the New England Revolution was special and different in its own weird way.

Atlanta was up four goals and two men at halftime, and it only got better for the Five Stripes as they put three more past Cody Cropper. Gerardo Martino’s men became the first expansion side to score seven goals and they tied the MLS record for largest margin of victory.

On the flipside of the coin, the Revolution became the first team in MLS history to not record a shot in the game, and they were on the wrong end of two VAR decisions.

The victorious side felt something special inside the flashy new Mercedes-Benz Stadium early, even before the pair of red cards.

“Tonight was different,” Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst said. “I have never experienced a game quite like this one. Even before the red cards, I thought we came out with good intensity with the right mentality and the right amount of energy. Two good performances — a good way — to start this home stand.”

Although just two games have been played inside the new stadium, the expansion side has had a home-field advantage no matter where its played in Atlanta, and that’s helped start the charge toward a playoff berth.

We like playing in front of our fans,” Atlanta midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said. “If we were in Piedmont Park, I think that we would enjoy it. Whether it’s here or there or anywhere, it doesn’t matter. We love playing in front of them. The building of course is beautiful and we’ve done okay in the last two games but we can’t expect results like that every week but we can expect the fans to be like that every week which is special for us.”

“I think we’re doing things well,” Atlanta forward Josef Martinez said. “Obviously, today’s game got a little complicated with them going down two players but I think we’re playing really well at home. We’re making it hard for teams to play here and we need to continue on this path and we’re going to do important things.”

But Martino, being the experienced manager that he is, took the seven-goal thrashing with a grain of salt.

“It’s different. The other day, we played 11 on 11,” Martino said. “Today, after the second goal, we played against a team of 10 players and after the third goal, a team with nine players. I don’t think it’s fair to make an analysis of that.

“Forgive me for sounding boring but I am going to repeat that we played a large part of the game up two players,” Martino added. “I do want to say that I respect how our team played after that but that had a big impact.”

And to be honest, Wednesday was just a continuation of a homestand that at its end could put Atlanta in a secure position to clinch a playoff berth, but every game must be approached with the same intensity.

There’s no more intense game for Atlanta than its rivalry with Orlando City, with the third installment coming on Saturday. And as much fun as the team had reflecting on Wednesday’s win, the focus has already shifted to the Lions.

“Obviously, it’s a different game, so we have to have that mindset,” Martinez said. “It’s also a rivalry game for us. So, I’ll be ready but not only do the players have to be 100 percent but we want the fans to be 100 percent.”


  1. I suggested about a week ago that Martino could be a good choice for USMNT coach after Arena, hopefully, gets us qualified. I hope they will select him or someone with comparable experience and success after the MLS season is over. If he’s interested, he has the right combination of achievement, experience and now knowledge of MLS and US players to be successful.

    • I saw that comment last week. I replayed back not sure if you saw it, but I think Tata may even be planning for that and took the Atlanta job as step towards that which gives him time to learn more about the culture and learn more English first so he’s better able to manage and motivate the US player.
      Would absolutely love Tata to get the job as a USMNT fan but would suck as an ATL fan. High press, quick one/two touch passing, suffocating possession, overlapping high outside backs, playing out of the back. It’s sounds a lot like what JK actually promised but Tata is implemting. Not sure if the US has players in the pool to replicate what Martinez or Villaba give but some come close. Here’s my take who might fit his system within our pool:
      Almiron—-Pulisic/Klejstan(Wonder Boy could make a similiar or even better analog for Miggy)
      Villaba—–Pulisic/Arriola/Green(hard to see a real analog for Villaba)
      Martinez—Wood(needs to be able to press and finish, again hard to see an analog for Martinez in our pool, wood comes closest though)
      Pirez—-Brooks/Miazga/Ream(Pirez has really good distribution from the back but does make the occasional big mistake)
      Parkhurst——Cameron/Parkhurst/CCV(need a good marshal of the back line here)
      Not like for like by any means but possible given tactics and player tweaks. Won’t look the same but moves in the right direction. Current US players wouldn’t or can’t all out press when they loss possession so not sure if some of these guys really fit but we should be teaching youth ATLs approach or something similiar.
      Remember Chile destroyed MX at the Copa with a similiar style but different 343 formation at the Copa. We could look like a poor mans Chile given right tactics, mentality, and formations and that would be more than good enough to cruise thru concacaf.

      • Now that I think about it JK may have been trying to replicate this style and formation Chile used at the Copa against MX in the Nov qualifier but it backfired either he got little buy in on that game plan from the players or certain players couldn’t fill the roles that style and formation demand, bad positioning/spacing and/or lack of techincal/passing ability to pull it off. Love him or hate him at least JK was trying to move of forward somehow rather than BA throwback tactics/formations/players selections.

  2. Other MLS teams, learn now to FEAR THE BENZ. We are going to out possess, out shoot, out press, out pass, and generally out class you 90+ minutes. It will not be fun for you to watch you team chase us 90 minutes without much of the ball. Its gonna feel like those 90s and 00s USMNT games in Azteca. And about next year, just imagine what our front office can do with a couple years on the scouting and acquisitions. How many MLS clubs would Kenwaye Jones not start for much less not even see minutes in most games.

  3. Atlanta United is not going to lose in MBS… the turf speed, the raucous crowd and having 2 or 3 of the best players in the entire league… This team is not slowing down.

  4. ‘Atlanta midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said. “If we were in Piedmont Park, I think that we would enjoy it. Whether it’s here or there or anywhere, it doesn’t matter.”‘

    From there to here, from here to there; Atlanta goals are everywhere.


Leave a Comment