MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal second leg between Atlanta United and Monterrey, followed by the 2016-17 SCCL quarterfinal second leg between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the New York Red Bulls. Both matches will be shown on Concacaf’s Facebook and YouTube pages, plus the Concacaf App.
Since their beginning in Major League Soccer (MLS), Atlanta United has captured the attention of fans around North America for their attacking style of play, which has yielded its fair share of goals and accomplishments, including the 2018 MLS Cup and the 2019 U.S. Open Cup.
By virtue of winning 2018 MLS Cup, Atlanta United punched their ticket to their first ever Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, marking a new dawn for a club that has proved ambitious from the start.
The great talent of players such as FW Josef Martinez and MF Ezequiel Barco brought their exciting brand of football to the 2019 SCCL, but like many teams making their first foray into Concacaf’s premier club competition, some early hurdles had to be cleared.
Drawn with Costa Rican heavyweights Herediano in the Round of 16, Atlanta United was served a lesson in the difficulties of playing in the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero, as they fell 3-1 to the Tico outfit in the first leg.
Still, some history was made with Julian Gressel becoming the first Atlanta United player to score in an international tournament.
The second leg in Atlanta would prove a different story, as a goal from Josef Martinez inside the first minute set the tone for an emphatic 4-0 triumph for Atlanta United, in which Martinez bagged a brace and was joined on the scoresheet by Gressel and Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez.
The 5-3 aggregate win marked Atlanta United’s first ever international series win and set up a date with then-three-time SCCL champions Monterrey.
Perhaps there is no tougher team in Concacaf playing on home soil than Rayados, and after playing most of the match down 1-0, Atlanta United conceded two late goals in a 3-0 quarterfinal first leg defeat.
While the MLS side were unable to come back and eliminate their Liga MX opponents in the second leg, Atlanta United can lay claim to being the only team to defeat the 2019 SCCL champions during the tournament, as a Martinez goal earned Atlanta United a 1-0 win in the second leg.
Overall, it can be said that Atlanta United’s international debut was a positive learning experience for the club and will assuredly serve as an asset in the years to come in Concacaf competition.