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Tuesday August 20th, 2019 8:40AM

Atlanta United to open 2019 season at D.C. United

By AccessWDUN

ATLANTA — MLS Cup Champion Atlanta United will open its 2019 league season against D.C. United at Audi Field on Sunday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m.

The following week, Atlanta will have its home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against expansion FC Cincinnati on Sunday, March 10 at 5:00 p.m. The league is slated to announce the rest of the schedule in early January.

A limited number of tickets to the club’s home opener against FC Cincinnati are available now through the Home Opener Ticket Pack. Single-game tickets will go on sale after the entire league schedule is released. 

After an historic inaugural campaign in 2017, Atlanta United followed up in grand style by claiming the 2018 MLS Cup in just its second season of existence, which is the earliest an expansion team has won the title since 1998. Led by league MVP Josef Martinez, Atlanta finished with a record of 21-7-6 to claim 69 points, the second-most in league history. Martinez shattered the league’s single-season goal record by tallying 31 in the regular season – and another four in the postseason – to have Atlanta become just the second team in league history to score at least 70 goals in back-to-back seasons.

Atlanta will begin its title defense in 2019 against D.C. United, a playoff team from a year ago. It finished in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-11-9 (51 points) and lost to Columbus Crew SC in penalties in the Knockout Round. The club returns a solid core led by the second-longest tenured coach in the league, Ben Olsen. On the field, D.C. United will return a pair of 2018 Best XI selections in Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta.

The following week Atlanta will host the league’s newest team, FC Cincinnati, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – which has become synonymous with every American soccer attendance record. Atlanta once again broke multiple attendance records this past season, including MLS Regular Season single-game (72,243), U.S. Open Cup single-game (41,012), MLS Cup Playoff single-game (73,019), MLS single-season average (53,002) and total MLS season (901,033).

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