Mercedes-Benz Stadium played host to the biggest crowd in MLS history on Saturday, and they were treated to one of the league's wildest games in recent memory.
Dom Dwyer bagged his first two goals since his midseason trade from Sporting KC and Cyle Larin struck for his 12th of the year for Orlando City SC, who produced a sturdy, resilient display against their fledgling regional rivals Atlanta United.
But a hat trick from Josef Martinez – his third of the season and second of the week – paced the home side as they fell behind three times and rallied on each occasion to gain a hard-earned 3-3 draw in front of 70,425 spectators.
- 10' – ORL – Dom Dwyer Watch
- 36' – ATL – Josef Martinez Watch
- 39' – ORL – Dom Dwyer Watch
- 55' – ATL – Josef Martinez Watch
- 58' – ORL – Cyle Larin Watch
- 69' – ATL – Josef Martinez Watch
- JOSEF, JOSEF, JOSEF: What else can be said about Martinez at this point? Atlanta's Venezuelan marksman has now scored a whopping seven goals in their last three games, and now sits in sole possession of fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals despite playing just 14 games, barely half the numbers of most of his nearest competitors. He boasted an eye-watering 1.24 goals per 90 minutes coming into Saturday's game – the only player in MLS with a number above 1.00 – and that number will now skyrocket further upward.
- MIND THE BACK POST: Credit is due to Orlando, who entered this match with just one win in their nine league games since the start of July, but defended against ATLUTD's high press and aggressive attack as well as anyone they've faced lately. It appears that Lions coach Jason Kreis had spotted a vulnerability in the Five Stripes' back line, as all three of his team's goals were scored on headers of crosses to the back post, with Dwyer and Larin making good use of their aerial abilities.
all 3 ORL goals today on back-post headers. I wonder if Kreis saw something on the film or if this is just coincidental— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) September 16, 2017
- DOM'S DROUGHT DIES: Orlando City shipped an unprecedented package of assets to SKC to acquire Dwyer this summer, stoking sky-high expectations — and frustrations when he failed to hit the net in his first few appearances in purple. But he and Larin appear to be striking up an increasingly fluid rapport; the strike duo have now notched a combined four goals and one assist in the Lions' last two games.
Dwyer is looking tailor made for a 4-4-2 after all those years as a lone striker. Can hit a mean service and benefits from Larin's runs.— Thomas Floyd (@thomasfloyd10) September 16, 2017