Atlanta United just finished a grueling 24-day stretch where they opened their new home, climbed the table, shattered records, and much more. We broke down the club’s incredibly` busy, historic stint by the numbers:
9 Goals from Our Leading Goal Scorer
Atlanta’s lethal front man Josef Martinez tallied nine goals in the month of September, more than any other player in MLS in that stretch and matching his total on the season before the start of the month. His 1.29 goals per match average was enough to earn him the Alcatel MLS Player of the Month award for September, making him the only player in the league to receive the award twice this season.
8 Games Played
Starting September 10th with their opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against FC Dallas through the heartbreaking defeat against Minnesota on October 3rd, Atlanta United took the field on eight occasions, averaging about two games a week, after only playing two in the entire month leading up to the stretch.
7 Sellouts at Our New Home
Every Atlantan was eagerly awaiting the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium since the announcement of the club’s home in 2015, but no one could have anticipated full house after full house for Atlanta United matches. In just seven games so far at the new state-of-the-art facility, the team is averaging over 45,000 in attendance including the record-breaking match that broke the single game MLS attendance record with 70,425 fans in the building to watch the Five Stripes take on Orlando City.
6 Clean Sheets
Atlanta’s thrilling attack has consistently dominated the headlines all season – and in September as well – but a big reason why the expansion side has made a rapid climb up the table in the second half of the season is their impressive defensive form. Led by goalkeeper Brad Guzan, ATL UTD recorded six clean sheets and only conceded a total of five goals in the hectic eight-game stretch. Their 38 goals allowed all season ranks 3rd best in the league with their +30 goal differential ranking 2nd best.
Atlanta were nearly unstoppable in their chaotic 24-day stretch, only dropping one game while drawing two and pocketing five victories. And when they won, they won big, outscoring their opponents by a total of 19-0 including a 7-0 thrashing of the New England Revolution. That result matched the most goals ever in a game for an expansion side, while tying the largest margin of victory for any team in the history of MLS.
4th in Golden Boot Race
Despite missing nearly half of the season with injury, forward Josef Martinez is still one of the favorites to win this year’s Golden Boot race. After recording his 18th goal against Philadelphia in their playoff clinching victory, the Venezuelan international sits just three goals behind scoring leader Nemanja Nikolic. With two matches left, it will certainly be a close finish for the 2017 MLS Golden Boot.
3rd Place in the Eastern Conference
Heading into September, Atlanta sat in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, in playoff contention but teetering on the playoff line. But with a few games in hand, Atlanta United were able to capitalize on the heavy late stretch of matches, taking 17 points from their last eight games and shooting into 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. While Toronto has locked up the Supporters’ Shield, ATL UTD is still gunning for a 2nd place finish and a first round-bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs with two matches remaining in the regular season.
2 Hat Tricks
Accounting for more than half of Martinez’s nine goals in September: his two hat tricks against the New England Revolution and Orlando City. With his back-to-back three-goal performances, the 24-year-old striker became only the third player in league history to ever do so. Scoring 1.19 goals per 90 minutes and now bringing his hat-trick total to three on the season, Martinez sits in elite company as he is one of only seventeen players to record at least three hat tricks all-time – and he’s only played 18 MLS matches.
1st Playoff Berth Clinched
September was a historic month for many reasons, but one in particular was the most important, especially on the field. Following their win over Philadelphia, Atlanta United officially clinched a playoff berth becoming the first expansion side since 2009 to do so. And it was only fitting that on the monumental day, it happened to also be the birthday of Atlanta owner Arthur Blank who celebrated with the team and the fans in the Supporters Section for one of the most remarkable moments in the club’s history.