Atlanta United opened up their new home, Mercedes Benz Stadium with a convincing 3-0 win over Western Conference side FC Dallas. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Josef Martinez, and Greg Garza all found the back of the net in a game that could’ve been resulted much worse for the Texas club thanks to a couple of Atlanta shots hitting the woodwork, some strong saves by Dallas goalie Jesse Gonzalez, and a penalty decision that would be overturned due to an offside call in the 5th minute. The game was clearly dominated by the Five Stripes through the entire 90 minutes and could possibly begin a stretch that propels the expansion side to a historic playoff appearance.
The expansion side had no trouble early on in the final attacking third of the field, resulting in what seemed to be a penalty in the fifth minute but would be overturned by VAR due to Forward Josef Martinez being offside. The referee’s decision didn’t seem to affect the Five Stripes attack as they shortly after found the back of the net in the fourteenth minute resulting in the club’s first ever goal in the newly acquired home in Atlanta. The goal came resulting from a Miguel Almiron cross to the box which fell to the feet of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez off the head of Hector Villalba. This goal was the only converted chance the Five Stripes had going into the half, but that quickly changed as Designated Player Josef Martinez slotted home another goal thirty seconds after the beginning of the second half. The goal came via a picked off pass from Dallas midfielder Walker Zimmerman in the midfield by Miguel Almiron, who then found Martinez streaking down the middle of the box and was able to stroke home his ninth goal of the season. The goal scoring didn’t stop as defender Greg Garza closed off the match after Hector Villalba played a ball into Josef Martinez who let the pass slip into Greg Garza who was able to tap in his second goal of the 2017 campaign.
The loss continued FC Dallas’ winless run to eight games with only seven games remaining in the regular season. The club’s most recent loss continued a stretch where a team that once was appearing as Supporters Shield Contenders now find themselves fighting for simply an appearance in the 2017 playoffs. The Texas club hosts second place Seattle Sounders in a matchup that does not seem favorable as Dallas attempts to turn around recent form and begin a stretch that carries over into the playoffs.