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Atlanta United beats FC Dallas in debut at new stadium

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) Finally moving into their glitzy new home, Atlanta United drew another sellout crowd, won for the first time in more than seven weeks and bolstered their playoff hopes with a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday.

Josef Martinez, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Greg Garza scored for the MLS expansion team, which thrilled the packed house of 45,314 with a dominating performance in its stadium debut.

United was supposed to begin the season at the $1.5 billion stadium it shares with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, but constructions delays pushed back the opening three times. Atlanta was forced to play its first nine home matches at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, and two other games were rescheduled for later in the season.

The scheduling resulted in United having only nine home matches before Sunday's contest, at least three less than every other team in the league. Since the team's last home game on July 29, a 1-1 draw with Orlando, it had played just three games - all on the road, posting two draws and a loss.

Even so, Atlanta remained tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference and, having played fewer matches than any other team, still in prime position to make a run to the playoffs in its first season. The victory was United's first since a 1-0 triumph at Orlando on July 21.

There were 1-1 draws in the other MLS games Sunday.

At Seattle, Lamar Neagle scored the equalizer in the 85th minute against Los Angeles, helping the Sounders extend their club-record unbeaten streak to 12 games.

In so doing, they denied Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid a win in his return to Seattle. Schmid, who took L.A.'s reins on July 27 in place of the fired Curt Onalfo, coached the Sounders for 7 1/2 years - from their inaugural season in 2009 through July 2016.

Gyasi Zardes gave the Galaxy the lead in the 25th minute.

At Columbus, Ola Kamara scored his 15th goal of the season for the Crew in first-half stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City, which had opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

Updated September 11, 2017

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