Long overdue for a professional soccer franchise, Atlanta has served as the perfect location for Major League Soccer’s newest expansion club. ESPN Football Club’s Taylor Twellman said, “Atlanta United has single handedly given everyone a look of what Major League Soccer should look like. Stadium? Home Run. Coaching? Home Run. Every single week I look at the schedule and say who is Atlanta United playing because I want to watch them.”
United opened the season in Bobby Dodd stadium, where 55,297 fans attended their first home game. Even though they suffered a 1-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls, they sent a strong message to the league that they would be playoff contenders in their inaugural season. After a delay in construction of the retractable roof pushed back their opener at the new Mercedes Benz-Stadium, FC Dallas played Atlanta United on Sep. 10 in the first ever MLS match at the new stadium. A Leandro Gonzalez goal in the 14th minute got the match underway, and goals from Josef Martínez and Greg Garza sealed a 3-0 victory.