Atlanta United wins 2018 Major League Soccer Cup
While Atlanta Georgia may be the city infamous for countless sporting heartbreaks, "the Big A" finally came out on top this past weekend.
The breakout soccer team, Atlanta United, claimed its first Major League Soccer championship title on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers.
In the mere two years since Atlanta's soccer club was established, the team has gained an enormous amount of national attention, as well as a gigantic fan-base and now a championship title. Atlanta United played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, in front of a total of 73,019 people - the largest crowd in MLS franchise history.
Striker, Josef Martinez - who also broke the record for most goals scored in one season - was the first to score for United in the 39th minute of the championship game. Defender, Franco Escobar added an insurance goal in the 54th, sending the crowd into a total frenzy and turning the final minutes of the match into a wild, flag-waving celebration. As the final whistle blew, Queen's "We are the Champions" blared throughout the stadium while red and black confetti filled the air.
According to Fox 5, this was head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's final game with the team before reportedly heading to Mexico to take over as the country's national coach. Martino previously announced that he was leaving the club after this season.
This victory marks the city's first major sports title since the Braves' World Series win in 1995. Since then, the Falcons have lost two Super Bowls, the Hawks have yet to win an NBA championship (since moving to Atlanta in 1968), the Thrashers (NHL) have left the city twice, and the Braves have come up short in every playoff since 1995.
With all that aside, consider the "title drought" in Atlanta officially over. A ceremonial parade was held in downtown Atlanta on Monday morning Dec. 10, 2018, for the first time in 23 years.