The Georgia Dome will soon be no more as we get closer to the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with demolition currently scheduled for spring 2017. Alabama will face Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Saturday. The Falcons play their last regular season game in the Dome on Sunday, followed by the playoffs in January. At last word, events will not be booked in the stadium after March.
While soccer has not been a regular tenant in the Georgia Dome, there have been quite a few memorable moments. Here are five particular ones that stand out to us:
5- The first game, Mexico vs. Venezuela, 6/24/09
Carlos Vela scored the first goal in the Georgia Dome as Mexico defeated Venezuela in an international friendly 4-0. Giovani Dos Santos scored twice in the win. The match was Javier Aguirre’s first with Mexico after the firing of Sven-Göran Eriksson.
In addition to being the first soccer event in the Georgia Dome’s history, it also marked the first time that natural grass has been brought into the venue for an event.
4- U.S. women’s national team vs. Netherlands
Coming off of a disappointing 2016 Olympics, the U.S. women’s national team defeated the Netherlands 3-1 at the Georgia Dome in September. The Dutch took an early lead, but the U.S. battled back for the win. Carli Lloyd and Allie Long’s goals were boosted by a Netherlands’ own goal to make up for the final scoreline.
The game was the second for the USWNT at the Georgia Dome, they defeated Russia 8-0 in 2014.
3- Gold Cup quarterfinals 2013
The first competitive games played at the Georgia Dome came in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A doubleheader saw Panama defeat Cuba 6-1 and Mexico escape with a narrow 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in front of 54,229 fans.
2- Club América vs. AC Milan, 7/22/09
The World Football Challenge brought the first club match to the Georgia Dome in 2009 as Daniel Márquez’s 84th minute goal gave América a 2-1 win over Milan. The match will be best remembered as USMNT defender Oguchi Onyewu’s debut with Milan.
1- Gold Cup semifinals 2015
In a game that most American fans would like to forget, the U.S. men’s national team made its first appearance in Atlanta since 1977 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals. The U.S. fell 2-1 to Jamaica in the first match of a doubleheader, marking its first loss to the Reggae Boyz on American soil. The second match was an ill-tempered affair that saw Mexico defeat Panama 2-1. The bad vibes spread to the stands as the match descended into chaos towards the end.