Atlanta United returns to Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday to take on Chicago Fire in an early-season Eastern Conference matchup between two teams above the red line. In addition to a nationally televised audience on UniMas (available in English via SAP), Saturday will mark the first match in MLS history to be simulcast on Facebook Live via the Univision Deportes Facebook page. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Saturday will also mark the second consecutive sell-out for Atlanta United. With a capacity crowd of 45,000 fans, Atlanta will reach the 100,000 mark in attendance after just two home matches. Only one other team in MLS history has been able to accomplish that, with LA Galaxy doing so in 1996.
Atlanta (1-1-0, 3 points) picked up its first win last Sunday, defeating fellow expansion side Minnesota United FC, 6-1. With the league’s first hat-trick of the season, Josef Martinez was voted MLS Player of the Week. The Venezuelan Designated Player gave Atlanta an early lead in the third minute after collecting a pass from Miguel Almirón. Almirón also had a day to remember, picking up two goals and one assist. His second goal, giving Atlanta a 4-1 lead, won the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week.
Chicago (1-0-1, 4 points) enters Week 3 after a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake in the club’s home opener. Forward Nemanja Nikolic, an offseason Designated Player signing, started the scoring in the 11th minute. Arturo Álvarez scored a second goal four minutes later and the Fire kept a clean sheet to secure the three points.
The club also announced that four players have received international call-ups for the upcoming FIFA International Break. Miguel Almirón Paraguay), Carlos Carmona (Chile), Kenwyne Jones (Trinidad & Tobago) and Josef Martinez (Venezuela) have each been called-up to the represent their respective countries for important 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches from March 23-28. Each player will leave after Atlanta’s March 18 match against Chicago Fire and will return to first team duties prior to the club’s trip to Seattle for a match against the Sounders on March 31.
Saturday, March 18 | Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga. | 4:00 p.m.
Atlanta United (1-1-0, 3 points) vs. Chicago Fire (1-0-1, 4 points)
Talent: Jose Luis Lopez Salido (play-by-play), Diego Balado (commentator), Ana Caty Hernandez (sideline).
English Talent: Ramses Sandoval (play-by-play), Guad Venegas (commentator).
Online: Facebook Live
Talent: Mark Rogondino (play-by-play) and Heath Pearce (commentator).
English Radio: 92.9 The Game
Talent: Adam Schick (play-by-play) and Jason Longshore (commentator).
Spanish Radio: La Mejor 1600 AM
Talent: Armando Carillo (play-by-play), Daniel Cantu (commentator), Jorge Avina (sideline).