The term “sold out” holds a strong, positive meaning in sport, but when you actually step into the electric atmosphere created by thousands and thousands of raving fans, the term amplifies into something much more. If Sunday night is any indication at what is to come, Atlanta will undoubtedly be a fortress of a home in MLS. Though not the result they desired, the players were absolutely blown away by the overwhelming support of the 55,297 that attended the match.
See what they had to say below.
Goalkeeper Alec Kann, born and raised in Atlanta:
“It was a night to remember especially when I’ve got friends and family in the crowd. It was amazingly special. Obviously, we didn’t play well enough to win the game, but that’s a night that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Center Midfielder Julian Gressel, Atlanta’s 2nd 2017 MLS SuperDraft selection:
“The crowd was unbelievable. It was electric. That was probably one of the best in the country to be honest. Thousands of people – they are still celebrating up there. It is a tremendous – yeah, tremendous – thing for the city to have a team here. Now, we just have to try to win every game and put it on for the fans. It helps us because they push us through the thick and thin.”
Left Back and U.S. International Greg Garza:
“I was expecting, to be honest, a lot less, but they’ve definitely surprised us with how many people are onboard. You can hear everyone the whole entire game and it’s hard to talk to your teammates on the field that’s how loud it was. I think maybe one of the only other games I can say I’ve played [in that type of atmosphere] was probably with the national team against Mexico in the Alamo Dome about two years ago. So that was the feeling tonight, you can feel the energy in the stadium.”
Right Back Tyrone Mears, 2016 MLS Cup Champion with Seattle Sounders:
“We knew it was a sellout, but they were so loud and vocal. … We said when we walked from the bus coming in, ‘It’s like being in Europe with the atmosphere.’ It makes a big difference playing in front of 50, 60,000. It’s like another man for us.”
The Captain, Center Back Michael Parkhurst:
“It was amazing. It was awesome to play in front of [the crowd]. It was awesome to see. …If we have an atmosphere like that every game, it’s going to be an awesome place to play.”
Sunday was a packed house and an epic night for both fan and player in the ATL. However, this is only the beginning, and the next home match on March 18th is sure to follow suit. Be there to join the journey.