As we close the chapter on 2021, let’s look back on some of the incredible moments and plays we experienced this year. From jaw-dropping goals that left us speechless to inspiring comebacks that brought tears to our eyes, we’re counting down the top five moments from the 2021 season. To see our best goals of the season, click here.
1. Josef Martinez’ 100
The Venezuelan striker became the fastest player to reach 100 club goals in MLS, accomplishing this task in 125 games. This milestone seemed far off after Martinez’ return from injury but reaching that moment at home was special for both the club and Martinez. As Martinez stepped up to take the penalty kick, both his teammates and the crowd were anxiously awaiting the result, one step, two step… shoot. As soon as the ball hit the back of the net the entire stadium lit up in cheers.
2. First Friday, first win for Gonzalo Pineda
It’s not easy to come in the final third of the season and face one of the club’s biggest rivals. What’s remarkable is in Gonzalo Pineda's second match as head coach, his team not only beat a rival but did so in resounding fashion, shutting out Orlando City 3-0 on Sept. 10. The game was high speed and Atlanta led a strong attack, the style of play Pineda has in mind for the team. With 42,507 supporters in the stands, Pineda started writing his chapter in Atlanta United history with his first win as head coach in the club's first-ever Friday match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
3. Atlanta United Unified team’s win at Mercedes Benz Stadium
Atlanta United’s Unified Team had their last game of the season on Oct. 27 at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Unified Team won 3-1 against the Inter Miami Unified Team in a match filled with incredible goals and energy. On the sidelines, Atlanta United first team showed their support, and their cheers were heard throughout the stadium.
4. Waka Flocka “Dreads shakin’” music video
In preparation for the team’s playoff run, rapper and United superfan Waka Flocka released the song and music video for ‘Dreads Shakin’ on Nov. 7. The music video was shot in-house by the club’s digital team. Once the video was released, 17s were surprised to find club president Darren Eales starring next to Waka in the music video.
5. ALL. THE. CAKE.
Birthdays and cake usually go hand in hand, but when head coach Gonzalo Pineda arrived at the club, he started a new tradition. Instead of eating cake on his birthday the player - or sometimes even the technical staff – got cake smashed in his face. The tradition has quickly become a fan favorite and players have learned to run when they see cake on the training pitch.