Atlanta United get first MLS win under Gabriel Heinze

Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta United head coach Gabriel Heinze. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta United got a big win on Saturday, dismantling the Chicago Fire. It was an impressive three points for Atlanta United, especially after a bit of a tight start to the match.

The 3-1 result put Atlanta United in the winner’s column for the first time all season. It was also head coach Gabriel Heinze’s first win in charge of the club in league play.

Heinze was last in charge of Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina’s top flite. He has been tasked with turning aro

und a club that had major struggles on the field last year.

Heinze celebrated the third goal of the game, the one that put Atlanta United on top for keeps, with a jump in the air and a fist pump. The celebration of Emerson Hyndman’s goal in the 85th minute is now instant lore.

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“How I felt myself? How is a coach going to feel? Happy,” Heinze said after the match.

“Because my team scored. And I was already thinking about giving instructions to other players and I almost didn’t see the goal. But the joy of scoring a goal is full and you could also ask the fans.”

The win is a big first step for an Atlanta United side that had uncharacteristic struggles a season ago and missed the playoffs. Now under the charismatic Heinze, the club seems to be pointed in the right direction.

In CONCACAF Champions League play, Atlanta United got dual 1-0 results to beat Costa Rican giants Alajuelense. Then, despite playing a heavily rotated squad, they managed a scoreless draw at Orlando City to start the season.

On paper, Atlanta United is talented and balanced. While they defensively have looked shaky at moments through their first four matches of competitive play, they’ve still conceded just a single goal during that stretch.

It is a busy – and important – week now looming for Atlanta United. After a midweek Champions League clash at the Philadelphia Union, Atlanta United returns to MLS play with a match at the New England Revolution.

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter @KristianRDyer