Nov 25, 2018 Atlanta: Atlanta United defender Franco Escobar and fans celebrate his goal for a 2-0 lead over the New York Red Bulls during the second half in their Eastern Conference finals MLS soccer game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/
Photo: Compton
Photo: Compton

Escobar promises new dance should Atlanta United win MLS Cup

It includes a stomp, one foot and then the other as you move side-to-side. Throw in a shoulder shimmy. Mix it together into one dance move that Atlanta United supporters have taken to.

It can be called the Escobar, after Atlanta United’s Franco Escobar, or the Barco, after teammate Ezequiel Barco.

The two were filmed doing different versions of the dance -- Barco’s was more stationary than Escobar’s --  which was shared on social media while celebrating the team’s berth in the MLS Cup after advancing past the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J. 

“That dance doesn’t exist,” Escobar said. “We just invented it in the moment out of pure joy.”

Barco said he told Escobar that if Atlanta United defeats Portland to win the MLS Cup on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, they will have to celebrate.

Escobar seemed in.

“Hopefully, because if we are dancing it means we have won, so I promise we will have another dance,” he said.

Escobar’s dance moves aren’t the only surprising thing about him. He has become a valuable member of Atlanta United’s starting lineup during the playoffs. Used as either a fullback or centerback during the regular season, his first with the team, Escobar was moved to wingback during the playoffs. In four games, he scored one goal and added an assist. His speed has been invaluable in helping manager Gerardo Martino in his desire to keep a strong defensive shape and help reduce the team’s margin of error.

“Hopefully, I can keep surprising people,” he said. “I think finally in these last few games I’m reaching the level that I wanted and expected when I came here. It was difficult at the beginning due to some injuries and adapting to new things. But I’m finally reaching the level that I want.”

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