The whistle blew, ending what had long been inevitable, and Atlanta United’s players turned their attention to December 8 – the chance to win just the second professional sports title in the city’s history
In just their second season, Atlanta will host Portland in Major League Soccer’s championship match before what surely will be the largest crowd for an MLS Cup, 70,000-plus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
‘This isn’t just for us in this locker room and this club. It’s much bigger than that,’ goalkeeper Brad Guzan said after Atlanta completed a 3-1 aggregate win over the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference final on Thursday night. ‘It’s going to be electrifying. It’s going to be fantastic on so many different levels.
MLS top scorer Josef Martinez, Franco Escobar and Hector Villalba netted at home in the first leg last Sunday before 70,016 fans. Atlanta set an MLS record by drawing 901,033 in the regular season, an average of 53,002.