LOS ANGELES: Josef Martinez posted his second straight hat trick, but hosts Atlanta settled for a 3-3 draw with Orlando on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) that drew a Major League Soccer record crowd of 70,425.
Atlanta, which made their debut in the league this season, were playing their third match in their new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which they share with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
For the first two games, the upper decks were closed, but tickets to those seats were sold for Saturday’s contest and the announced attendance of 70,425 was the largest ever for a stand-alone MLS game — surpassing the 21-year-old record of 69,255 fans who showed up at the Rose Bowl to watch LA Galaxy play their first MLS game in 1996.
In 2006, a crowd of 92,650 were at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum when the now-defunct Chivas USA met the New England Revolution, but that game was part of a double-header that included a blockbuster friendly between Barcelona and Club America.
Saturday’s big crowd were treated to plenty of back-and-forth action.
Dominic Dwyer scored off two headers in the first half and played a role in Cyle Larin’s goal that put Orlando City ahead 3-2 in the 58th minute.