The U.S. Major League Soccer team lost Wednesday night’s All-Star Game on penalty kicks to the most decorated football club in Italy, Juventus.
As has seemingly become the norm for Atlanta United home games, another attendance record was broken at the game despite the loss.
More than 72,000 fans showed up for the match, making it the highest-attended All-Star Game in MLS history.
Juventus scored first with a header in the 21st minute. The MLS All-Stars responded in the 26th minute with a header of their own. Atlanta United’s own Josef Martinez found the back of the net off a broken play.
Following a scoreless three minutes of extra time, Juventus converted on all five penalty kicks to secure the win.
Speaking through a translator after the game, Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron thanked the fans for packing Mercedes-Benz Stadium once again.
“I feel like breaking attendance records here has become the norm,” Almiron said. “I just want to say again how much we all appreciate the support in Atlanta that they provide to us every single match at home.”
The United’s coach Tata Martino was at the helm for the All-Star team. Also speaking through an interpreter, he said the game should earn the city more global recognition.
“I have nothing but positive things to say,” Martino said. “The MLS was able to show off our beautiful stadium, the amazing crowd that they have in Atlanta, and I think it was a positive sign for Atlanta as a city.”
Throughout the game, a couple of Atlanta United chants broke out, and United fans were rewarded. United forward Martinez walked away with MVP honors.
Both United players and coaches said the focus now shifts back to their season.