The best part about starting a new project is opening yourself up to new ideas and experiences. Saturday night we ventured into the sport of Soccer which was something new and I decided to put words to that experience.
Gametime Radio was in the building for the Atlanta United FC vs Real Salt Lake soccer match. Full disclosure this was my first time working a professional soccer game and it also was my first trip down to the new Mercedes Benz stadium. So if you are soccer fan looking for extensive breakdown of soccer X’s and O’s … this isn’t the place. However, head over to our affiliate website at ATLSportsHQ and check out their coverage because it’s really good.
First impression walking up to the “Benz” was, “My God Arthur Blank you outdid yourself.” Mercedes Benz stadium is visually amazing inside and out and is the perfect compliment to a burgeoning downtown Atlanta. With
Phillips arena, I mean State Farm arena finishing up their renovations the Atlanta Sports fan will have two top of the line sports venues walking distance from each other.
The walk from the parking lot was a bit of a hike but you can’t complain when you get parking for free. I later found out that I could have hopped on the trolley. Oh well, a little exercise was needed after seeing the pre-game meal they had for the media. Entering the stadium was a breeze and the process of picking up my media credential, finding the elevator to the press box and getting to my seat was seamless. The press box area is state of the art with wall to wall flat screens, plenty of seats and a dining area that that is reminiscent of some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants. I was super impressed but I had to act like I’d been somewhere nice before.
All this and the soccer game hasn’t even started.
Once the match started the energy in the building was electric even with the late arriving crowd. (Note: There were several sporting events happening today: Braves, Georgia Tech Football, Georgia State football and the PGA tournament.)
The beautiful part about the Atlanta United crowd is the diversity. Any Atlanta sports fan will tell you the sports landscape varies. There is a noticeable difference between crowds at Hawks games and crowds at Braves games. This United game looked like that one Coco-Cola commercial back in the 70’s. The attendance for this game was listed at 72,017.
OK now to the actual match. Here are 3 quick facts you need to know if you know absolutely nothing about the MLS and this Atlanta United FC team.
- Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez has set a all-time MLS single season goal scoring record with 24 goals this season. … And still has 4 games left to extend it.
- The United have already clinched a playoff birth and are really just trying to get a top 2 seed to assure themselves a bye and home field match in the playoffs.
- This team is really good and could very well bring a Championship to Atlanta.
The United scored two goals in this match. In the 36th minute – Julian Gressel .. scored a goal with an assist from Miguel Almiron. In the 61st minute Hector Villalba scored a goal that bounced off the goal post and then off the goaltender to give the United a 2-0 lead. The United didn’t look back and cruised to a 2-0 victory over The Real Salt Lake.
With this win over Real Salt Lake the United are still atop the MLS Eastern Conference with a 19-6-5 record and a league best 65 points. The remaining games for the Atlanta United are:
9/30 – @ NY Red Bull’s
10/6 – vs New England
10/21 – vs Chicago
10/30 – @ Toronto FC
If you haven’t been down to the Benz to see the Atlanta United play you need to put that on your things to do list. For tickets check out ATLUTD.com