Atlanta opens Mercedes-Benz Stadium with shutout
- Jesse Gonzalez makes season-high seven saves
- Georgia-native Walker Zimmerman plays 90 minutes in Hometown
- FC Dallas hosts West-leading Seattle Sounders FC Saturday night
ATLANTA, Georgia (Sunday, Sept. 10) – FC Dallas (9-8-10, 37 points) dropped their inaugural meeting with Atlanta United FC (11-8-6, 39 points), 3-0, on Sunday afternoon in the first-ever professional regular season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
5’ - FC Dallas had looked to give up an early penalty to the home side as Jesse Gonzalez made a diving tackle on Josef Martinez, for which he was initially awarded a yellow card, but upon Video Review, Martinez was ruled offside before making his run into the box.
14’ - Atlanta would take the lead off a short corner kick in the 14th minute. Hector Viallalba took the corner and got a quick pass back from Miguel Almiron before sending a cross into the box. Hernan Grana attempted to clear the cross on the six-yard box, but couldn’t get all of the ball, which fell to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez for the first goal in Mercedes-Benz Stadium history.
19’ - Jesse Gonzalez would make two of his season-high five first-half stops in the 19th and 20th minutes, first denying Vilalba on a chance from distance coming off his line, and then recovering to stop Almiron’s rebound opportunity from the left of goal.
26’ - Defender Matt Hedges would make a save of his own with a goal-line clearance in the 26th minute as the home side tried to strike on the counter attack. Josef Martinez was the recipient of a through ball to the edge of the area and took a shot from the right side that escaped a diving Gonzalez, but the reigning MLS Defender of the Year was in position as a backstop and prevented Atlanta from doubling their lead.
46’ - Atlanta would strike again just 30 seconds into the second half as a pass from Walker Zimmerman was intercepted by Carlos Carmona, who sent a 2-on-1 the other way as Almiron found Martinez on the doorstep for a 2-0 lead.
60’ - Chasing the game, Maxi Urruti would get Dallas’ best look of the night off as the game hit the final half hour, taking a shot from inside the box on the left side across the goal mouth, forcing a save from U.S. international Brad Guzan.
68’ - Dallas-native Greg Garza added a third for Atlanta in the 68th minute as Martinez let a pass from Villalba run past him inside the six-yard box, setting Garza up wide-open at the goal mouth.
ATL - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron) - 14’
ATL - Josef Martinez (Miguel Almiron, Carlos Carmona) - 46’
ATL - Greg Garza (Hector Villalba) - 68’
FC Dallas – Jesse Gonzalez; Maynor Figueroa, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Hernan Grana; Carlos Gruezo (Victor Ulloa - 46’), Kellyn Acosta; Ryan Hollingshead (Tesho Akindele - 65’), Mauro Diaz (Cristian Colman - 77’), Michael Barrios; Maxi Urruti.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Atiba Harris, Javier Morales, Roland Lamah, Cristian Colman.
Atlanta United FC – Brad Guzan; Greg Garza, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Anton Walkes; Carlos Carmona, Jeff Larentowicz; Yamil Asad, Miguel Almiron (Jacob Peterson - 89’), Hector Villalba (Julian Gressel - 72’); Josef Martinez (Chris McCann - 80’).
Substitutes Not Used: Mark Bloom, Kyle Reynish, Kevin Kratz, Mikey Ambrose.
FCD - Carlos Gruezo (caution) - 2’
ATL - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (caution) - 50’
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Mark Kadlecik
VAR: Robert Sibiga
Weather: Clear, 70