A new year means a new chapter for Atlanta United in 2019. And with a new head coach and a title to defend, it’s going to be another unforgettable ride for fans of the Five Stripes. Any avid fan could tell you that each match is a spectacle that can’t be missed, but there are a few matches on the calendar that look particularly appetizing for the red, black and gold. Here are five matches that stand out:
March 10th – The Home Opener vs FC Cincinnati
A new foe has entered the Eastern Conference, and Five Stripes fans won’t have to wait long to get their first test against them. Atlanta United’s first home match of the season in 2019 will be against MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 10th. It’s a match with a lot of unknowns, with Cincinnati’s inaugural squad still coming together. Former Atlanta United left back Greg Garza can expect a warm welcome in his first return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium as an FC Cincinnati player. But above all, it will be the supporters’ first chance to cheer on their team in league play in the ATL, so you can expect a special atmosphere from the opening kick.
May 12th – Hosting Orlando City
Speaking of atmosphere, you can always expect a rowdy one when the neighbors to the South come to town. Atlanta United will only face Orlando City twice this year –– after playing three times each of the past two seasons –– so this will be their only time facing the Lions in the friendly confines of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Despite close matches in nearly every meeting between the two squads, last year’s match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium turned into a rout, a 4-0 win that was a party in the stands by the final whistle. But a new season is a new challenge, and Orlando will remember that result –– so the players and fans can expect another tight one from the opening window.
July 7th – Hosting the Red Bulls
If you ask some Atlanta United fans, they’ll tell you the budding rivalry with the New York Red Bulls is just as tense as the one with Orlando. The Red Bulls put a damper on Atlanta United’s first ever game, and the head-to-head between the teams has been tight ever since. The Red Bulls have been a challenge in every match so far, and the team beat out the Five Stripes for the Supporter’s Shield on the final match of the season in 2018. But Atlanta got the last laugh, knocking out the Red Bulls in the postseason on their way to winning MLS Cup. Both teams will be looking for a win in what could be a key result in the race for the Shield.
July 27th - First match at LAFC
Last year’s expansion side, LAFC, had an impressive inaugural season that took them to the postseason –– a team built on young upcoming talent that drew comparisons to Atlanta United’s incredible first year. The Five Stripes humbled them with a 5-0 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last year, but it could be a different story in their first trip to face them out on the west coast. Atlanta United expanded on their first-year success to win MLS Cup, and LAFC will be hoping to keep up and make a run of their own. Amid the summer MLS stretch, this could be another battle of two top teams in the league, and the Five Stripes will have to be ready for a team trying to quickly challenge the elite of the league.
August 18th - MLS Cup rematch
When talking about the league elite, one has to go back to last season’s finalists. Portland was the best of the west last year, representing the conference in last year’s MLS Cup –– and Atlanta was the best in the East, and proved their superiority in the final to clinch their first cup. But facing an elite team on the road is always a challenge, particularly in front of one of the rowdiest fanbases in MLS. The Timbers will be eager to get a little revenge for the MLS Cup defeat in one of the premier matches of the season.
That’s just five of the countless can’t-miss moments for the team in the upcoming season. If you want to be there, tickets are already on sale for the home opener. Make sure you’re there to greet the team by getting your ticket here.