The temperatures in Harrison, N.J. are expected to be in the 30s Thursday night when Atlanta United and host New York Red Bulls play the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals.
Atlanta United’s Jeff Larentowicz didn’t seem worried about the cold on Tuesday.
“Once you step on the field, you aren’t going to be thinking ‘Man, this is cold,’” he said. “You are going to be thinking, ‘Man, this is the conference final.’”
Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst said the cold will force Atlanta United’s players to run to stay warm. That should help them try to protect their 3-0 lead.
Red Bulls supporters, or those who don’t like Atlanta United, who are hoping that playing in comfortable confines of the temperature-controlled Mercedes-Benz Stadium could have softened the Five Stripes may not realize that the team has played in two of the coldest games in MLS history and won both.
It was 19 degrees in Minneapolis when Minnesota United hosted Atlanta United in its 2017 opener on March 12. Despite several inches of snow during the game, Atlanta United won 6-1.
A year later, it was again 19 degrees in Minneapolis when the Loons hosted Atlanta United on April 2. Despite being reduced to 10 men following a red card to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Atlanta United won 1-0.
The coldest game in MLS history saw a temperature of three degrees when Colorado hosted Toronto on Feb. 20 this year in a CONCACAF Champions League qualifying game.
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