Atlanta United Takes Care of the Portland Timbers 2- 0 CROWD goes CRAZY
The City of Atlanta has something to SCREAM ABOUT! In 2 years, the Atlanta United team has created a following the the team fed off the LARGEST Crowd in League History on Saturday to watch the United hold off the Portland Timbers in the 2018 MLS Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium!
Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez added a vintage performance with a Goal and an Assist to delight the crowd. Miguel Almiron finally created the first clear scoring chance of the game in the 29th minute, meeting a deep cross from Greg Garza with an acrobatic side volley, but Jeff Attinella dived to his right to parry the bouncing shot away from the net.
The Timbers battled valiantly, but this was a definitive display of Tata Martino’s aggressive, attack-minded philosophy and it was hard to see the underdogs’ path to an upset. Setting the tone with their buzzing high press and snapping challenges, the Five Stripes ditched the risk-averse tactics used against the New York teams in their two previous playoff series and insisted the game be played on their terms, to good effect.
After a record-breaking season that will go down in Major League Soccer lore, Josef Martinez capped off his stellar 2018 season with MLS Cup, and the 2018 MLS Cup Most Valuable Player award.
The 25-year-old scored his 35th goal in MLS play, regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs combined, in the win, extending his own combined record. Martinez broke the single-season regular season scoring mark of 27 goals, initially set back in the league’s inaugural season of 1996, with a new record of 31 tallies.
The Venezuelan’s season led to him winning the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, and in being named the MLS Cup MVP, he becomes the fifth player in league history to win both MLS MVP and MLS Cup MVP in the same season, joining Tony Meola (2000, Kansas City), Carlos Ruiz (2002, LA Galaxy), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (2008, Columbus Crew SC) and Robbie Keane (2014, LA Galaxy).