The list of the Union’s most famous wins is a lot shorter than it ought to be for an 11-year-old club. But the 3-0 rout of Atlanta United on Tuesday, in the first game of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, immediately goes near the top.

“It’s a great example of the emotions of this game and what it can bring,” manager Jim Curtin said. “You can be maybe the better team against Miami and come out with a tough loss, but this group of players, they stick together, they have a real identity. And I’m really proud of the way they were committed and probably got one of our biggest wins in our club’s history.”

The contest in Atlanta had a full helping of drama and spectacle. There were Andre Blake’s seven stunning saves, including five in the first half to keep the game scoreless. There was the shiner Sergio Santos took from Miles Robinson’s elbow in the 64th minute that Curtin said left Santos’ left eye “just about swollen shut like a boxer” after the game. And there were Kacper Przybylko’s two fine goals and an assist.

Oh, and there were 28 called fouls, 16 against the Union and 12 against Atlanta. Plus a near-brawl late in the second half after Santos went down in a manner that Atlanta players thought was too theatrical. (It was, but so were some of Atlanta’s equally understandable attempts to bait José Andrés Martínez into a second yellow card.)

» READ MORE: Union stun Atlanta United with 3-0 road win to start Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series

“It had an intensity and a pace that, the way I described that to our guys is it’s a big-boy game,” said Curtin, whose celebratory run down the sideline after Przybylko’s second goal was another viral highlight.

“These are the real games you want to play in,” Curtin said. “You blink, and you look up at the clock and all of a sudden 15 minutes have gone by, because it’s so intense.”

The big plays

Przybylko and Blake understandably drew the most plaudits, but Santos deserves a lot of praise. Though he completed just four of eight passes after coming in as a halftime substitute, he played big roles in the Union’s second and third goals — both of which were textbook examples of counterattacking soccer.

The first contribution was a backheel in a give-and-go breakaway that sprung Leon Flach to assist Przybylko. The second was a through ball that split Atlanta’s back line and sent Przybylko off to the races, hit on a dime despite Santos spinning and falling over.

“People can open up and pass the ball around and put together six, seven hundred passes and that’s a nice way to play — we happen to think that the way that we play gives teams problems as well,” Curtin said. “We can be ruthless on the counterattack, and that was the plan for tonight. All the credit goes to the players for executing.”

Especially because this was not just a usual regular-season game that counts as much as any other. It was a rare all-MLS Champions League matchup, but it’s still this continent’s biggest soccer stage and both teams treated it that way.

(It was also part of a remarkable day for the Philadelphia area on the global soccer stage. Hershey’s Christian Pulisic kicked it off by becoming the first American man ever to score in a UEFA Champions League semifinal; and Sicklerville’s Tziarra King had a goal and an assist in OL Reign’s NWSL Challenge Cup win over the Chicago Red Stars.)

» READ MORE: Christian Pulisic scores in Chelsea’s 1-1 Champions League tie at Real Madrid

New York, New York

The Union won’t have too much time to celebrate this win, since they have to prepare for a Saturday home contest against a New York City FC team that just blasted FC Cincinnati 5-0 at Yankee Stadium. It will be another test against a team that has historically given the Union fits.

The good news is that there’s time for Przybylko, Jamiro Monteiro and other veterans to get some rest before then. And the aggregate lead over Atlanta is big enough that Curtin might be able to lighten the load a bit for the Union’s home game at Subaru Park next Tuesday (8 p.m., FS1 and TUDN) — especially if the Union can get an early goal in that game and really put the margin out of reach.

For now, though, fans have every right to celebrate what Curtin rightly called “a special win for sure, one that we won’t ever forget.”