Atlanta United fans yet again packed Mercedes Benz Stadium Sunday to top their own MLS single-game regular-season attendance record.
With the stadium opened to full capacity, Atlanta drew an official crowd of 72,035 to its home opener against D.C. United, besting its previous record. Atlanta United now has achieved the top three single-game regular-season crowds in MLS history.
Atlanta’s fans were rewarded for their enthusiasm as their team rebounded from a 4-0 loss at Houston last week to take down D.C. United 3-1 Sunday. It was Atlanta’s first win against D.C. United, after losing all three matchups last season.
Young homegrowns scoring goals
In his MLS debut, 17-year-old homegrown player Ben Mines scored the New York Red Bulls’ first goal of Saturday night’s match, becoming the third-youngest player in club history to do so.
With the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup against Club Tijuana coming up Tuesday, the Red Bulls put out a young lineup that featured Mines at right wing.
In the 18th minute, Mines came sliding in at the back post to poke in a cross by Alejandro Romero Gamarra, 23, who also made his league debut Saturday. It remained a 1-0 game until the Red Bulls brought in more experienced reinforcements, and RBNY scored three more goals in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Mines’ goal came a week after 17-year-old Alphonso Davies scored in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ season opener.
CONCACAF Champions league
The Seattle Sounders, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC all are gearing up for CCL matches this week after beating their Mexican opponents in the first leg of the quarterfinals last week.
Toronto FC and Tigres UANL were the headliners in a matchup billed as a clash of champions. Toronto pulled out a 2-1 win, as the Red Bulls beat Club Tijuana 2-0 and the Sounders took down CD Guadalajara 1-0.
The aggregate winners of the two-match series will advance to the semifinals, so it’s not time to celebrate just yet. However, it was a big week of results against Mexican clubs, which have traditionally dominated the tournament.
After a week featuring several high-scoring games, LAFC and the New York Red Bulls have made big leaps up the rankings. LAFC’s 5-1 rout of Real Salt Lake dropped RSL out of the top 10 and moved the expansion side up four spots. The New York Red Bulls, coming off a big CCL win, were able to keep Portland in check while giving some of their biggest names a rest. Atlanta United makes its first appearance in the top 10 after making returning Jeff Larentowicz holding midfielder and beating D.C. United 3-1.
MLS top 10
1. New York City FC (Last week: 1)
2. Toronto FC (2)
3. Columbus Crew SC (3)
4. New York Red Bulls (7)
5. Los Angeles FC (9)
6. Seattle Sounders FC (5)
7. Houston Dynamo (4)
8. Atlanta United (Unranked)
9. Sporting Kansas City (8)
10. Portland Timbers (6)