Atlanta United makes history in topping New England

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Atlanta United makes history in topping New England

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Atlanta United's Josef Martinez is congratulated after scoring a goal against New England on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Eric Rossitch / Atlanta United)

A hat-trick from Josef Martinez in the first half propelled Atlanta United to an historic 7-0 victory over a depleted New England on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Revolution failed to get off a shot -- the first team in MLS history to do so --  while Martinez scored three goals in a game for the second time this season. The seven goals were a season-high, surpassing the six scored at Minnesota United on March 12. The margin of victory ties the largest in league history.

Fullback Anton Walkes also scored after New England was reduced to nine men following red cards to Xavier Kouassi in the 16th minute and Antonio Milnar Delamea in the 38th minute. His red card resulted in a handball and penalty kick that Martinez converted for his third goal. His second goal was also a penalty kick following a handball on Je-Vaughn Watson in the 31st minute. 

Kevin Kratz scored his first goal for the team on a free kick in the 70th minute. Yamil Asad scored the sixth in the 74th minute. It was his fourth goal this season.

Atlanta United (12-8-6) improved to 8-2-1 at home this season, including 2-0 in its new digs. It also has seven shutouts this season.

The blowout helped the Five Stripes in two ways:

The team jumped over New York Red Bulls (41 points) into fifth place with 42 points, six more than seventh-place Montreal and seven more than New England (10-13-5). Atlanta United has played one fewer game than the Impact and two fewer than the Revs. Atlanta United trails fourth-place Columbus by one point, but has played three fewer games, and third-place Chicago by three points but has played two fewer games.

It also allowed manager Gerardo Martino to sub out fullback Greg Garza and holding midfielder Jeff Larentowicz early ahead of Saturday’s game against Orlando City. Atlanta United is going to try to set an MLS record for attendance when it hosts the Lions. The previous record of 69,255 was set in 1996 in a game between the L.A. Galaxy and N.Y./N.J. Metro Stars.

Atlanta United will be without Leandro Gonzalez Pirez when it hosts the Lions. He received a yellow card in the 23rd minute and must sit out one game because of accumulation.

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