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Atlanta United is currently in the midst of a three-match road trip in MLS play, but that didn’t stop the club from unveiling its new home venue to a massive crowd of supporters on Saturday.
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Over 20,000 fans of the Eastern Conference expansion side filed into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch Gerardo Martino’s side train on Saturday as Atlanta prepares to finish out its road trip against D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.
Atlanta will open up home play at their new stadium on September 10 when they host FC Dallas. The club will have the benefit of playing eight of its final 10 regular season matches in front of its Georgia fan base.
The first-year MLS side will share the stadium with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.
Here are some sights from the training sessionFollow @MattReedFutbol
With most MLS sides having 10 matches or less remaining in the regular season, it’s crunch time for many clubs seeking out a playoff position.
Saturday features several massive fixtures in both conferences, including the Chicago Fire taking on East leaders Toronto FC — who are unbeaten in their last six matches.
Meanwhile, Sporting KC hosts FC Dallas out West as the playoff battle heats up in the league’s other conference. As it stands, the top seven sides in the Western Conference are separated by just six points.
Here’s the full rundown of Saturday’s MLS matches.
Montreal Impact vs. Real Salt Lake — 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew — 7:30 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC — 8 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas — 8:30 p.m. ET
Colorado Rapids vs. D.C. United — 9 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo — 10 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philadelphia Union — 10:30 p.m. ET
A roundup of Saturday’s action from around Spain and Italy’s top flights…
Girona 2-2 Atletico Madrid
Everything that could go wrong did on Saturday for Atletico Madrid, but it was Girona’s gain as the promotion side began its La Liga journey with a draw. A first-half brace from Cristhian Stuani gave the hosts a 2-0 lead inside the opening 25 minutes, and from there, matters were made worse for Atleti when Antoine Griezmann was sent off in the 67th minute after picking up a second yellow card. Angel Correa pulled a goal back with 12 minutes remaining for Diego Simeone’s side, while Jose Gimenez tied the match in the 85th minute.
Celta Vigo 2-3 Real Sociedad
Future LA FC forward Carlos Vela played a key role for Real Sociedad in their comeback win over Celta Vigo. The Mexican international drew a penalty kick with two minutes to play in regulation, before Willian Jose buried the ensuing spot kick to give Sociedad the victory. Celta Vigo led at home twice on Saturday, but the visitors showed their resiliency, scoring twice in the final 10 minutes of play.
Sevilla 1-1 Espanyol
Clement Lenglet and Léo Baptistão scored on the afternoon in the draw, and despite Sevilla’s overwhelming possession the hosts couldn’t muster up enough to secure three points in the opener. The home side was reduced to 10 men with under 10 minutes remaining as well when second-half substitute Ever Banega was sent off.
Sunday’s La Liga schedule
Athletic Bilbao vs. Getafe — 12:15 p.m. ET
Barcelona vs. Real Betis — 2:15 p.m. ET
Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Madrid — 4:15 p.m. ET
Juventus 3-0 Cagliari
Everything was status quo for Juventus as they kicked off another season in Serie A as the reigning Italian champions. The Bianconeri controlled the flow of play throughout the match, limiting Cagliari to just two chances on target. Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala struck in the first half to put Juve up 2-0 at the break, while Gonzalo Higuain tacked on a third finish in the second stanza.
Cagliari’s best chance came when Duje Cop was taken down in the box, prompting referee Fabio Maresca to utilize VAR for the first time in a Serie A match. After mulling the decision for a moment, Maresca pointed to the penalty spot, but Diego Farias’ attempt was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
Hellas Verona 1-3 Napoli
Napoli boasted one of the top attacks in Europe last season, and the club didn’t waste any time in picking up where they left off. An own goal kicked things off for Napoli in the first half, before Arkadiusz Milik and Faouzi Ghoulam put the finishing touches on the match. Meanwhile, a late red card from Elseid Hysaj allowed Hellas to score their lone goal of the afternoon through Giampaolo Pazzini’s penalty finish.
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Atalanta vs. Roma — 12 p.m. ET
Bologna vs. Torino — 2:45 p.m. ET
Crotone vs. AC Milan — 2:45 p.m. ET
Inter Milan vs. Fiorentina — 2:45 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. SPAL — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sampdoria vs. Benevento — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sassuolo vs. Genoa — 2:45 p.m. ET
Udinese vs. Chievo Verona — 2:45 p.m. ET
Although all the major European leagues have all kicked off, the transfer rumors continue to swirl as the window closes in on deadline day.
In another twist that could make Paris Saint-Germain clear favorites to win the UEFA Champions League, the French giants appear close to signing Monaco teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.
While PSG remains under UEFA’s microscope for the club’s unwillingness to obey Financial Fair Play laws, the Parisians have launched a $211 million bid for Mbappe, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Chelsea continues to look for more options up front, but their latest attempt at poaching one of Italy’s brightest strikers has failed.
Torino has reportedly declined Chelsea’s $74 million bid for Andrea Belotti, with the Serie A side unwilling to part ways with the 23-year-old unless a team meets his $103 million release clause.
West Brom is playing hard to get with defender Jonny Evans, and Manchester City will have to fork up more money if they want the Northern Ireland veteran.
The Baggies are reportedly seeking over $41 million for Evans, as the Citizens continue to spend at a lightning pace during this transfer window.Follow @MattReedFutbol