While first-year MLS club Atlanta United was unable to pick up a win Saturday, playing to a 3-3 draw with Orlando City, a new league record was established at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 70,425 were sold for Saturday’s match, which surpassed the 69,255 set for a game between the L.A. Galaxy and New York-New Jersey MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) in 1996.
Atlanta United, which began its season playing home matches at Bobby Dodd Stadium on the Georgia Tech campus, is now undefeated in its last nine at home.
Forward Josef Martinez, who leads the team in goals this season with 16, tallied his second hat trick in as many matches to keep Atlanta United’s home unbeaten streak alive. Martinez opened his account in the 36th minute to tie the match at one goal apiece, and he completed his hat trick with tallies in the 55th and 69th minutes. Orlando City was led by Dom Dwyer — who scored two first-half goals — and Cyle Larin’s goal in the 58th minute gave the visitors a 3-2 lead.
With his hat trick, Martinez, who scored three first-half goals in Atlanta United’s 7-0 demolition of the New England Revolution Wednesday night, became the third player in MLS history to score three goals in consecutive matches. A member of Venezuela’s national team, Martinez is on loan from Serie A side Torino.
Atlanta United, which is currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, has enjoyed a productive debut season both on the pitch and in the attendance department. The club leads MLS in attendance, and manager Tata Martino has Atlanta United well-positioned to earn a playoff berth.