Atlanta United added one of the best players in South America this offseason, but that's not the biggest reason to watch the match this weekend.
Atlanta also features the record-holder for goals scored in a single season, but that's not the biggest reason to watch the match this weekend.
The biggest reason to watch the Union when they travel to Atlanta is what happened there last season.
Philly was giving the Five Stripes all they could handle for the first fifteen minutes of the match, but then Ale Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin were ejected under fairly ridiculous circumstances. Bedoya got a second yellow card for tying his shoe in the half-circle and Medunjanin was sent off for vocalizing what he perceived as the absurdity of the situation. The Union response to going two men down was extremely impressive. They battled endlessly, grabbed a late goal, and generally forced Atlanta to work hard for their win.
This is the Union's first trip to Atlanta since that incident, and they will be looking to show up with the same energy they had with nine men in 2018.
Alright, there are other reasons to watch as well. Pity Martinez will inevitably provide moments of magic, and the Union defense will bring their best against Josef Martinez, who was virtually unstoppable last season. Atlanta has not looked nearly as dangerous going forward this year as they did in 2018, but they are still loaded with enough talent to break out at any time. And with the Union's aggressive system in place, this is likely to be a back and forth match with a lot of chances for both sides.
Another reason to watch this match? It's on St. Patrick's Day! So after a day of celebrating a fun holiday, the Union match will be the perfect way to wind down (or a nice chance to pick up a second wind!).
There could be a chance to see homegrown midfielder Brenden Aaronson. The young midfielder nearly came on against Toronto, and he's continually pushing for minutes. Aaronson remains young, but his sky-high potential means he's a player Union fans will want to see when he gets his first minutes for the club.
The Union and Atlanta United meet at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 17 on PHL17.