It was the first MLS contest in franchise history for Nashville, while Atlanta won its first season opener in four attempts.
Atlanta forward Josef Martinez, a three-time MLS Best XI selection and 2018 league MVP, injured his right leg in the 63rd minute battling for the ball against Nashville's Dave Romney. He attempted to play through the injury but was replaced in the 69th minute by Adam Jahn.
Nashville out shot Atlanta 14-6 and had a 5-4 edge in corner kicks. Atlanta led in possession 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute on the first official shot of the contest. Barco took a pass from Franco Escobar and bent his right-footed shot from just outside of the penalty area past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Nashville pressured Atlanta's defense through much of the half, including David Accam's attempt in the penalty area in the 15th minute that was blocked by Atlanta's Anton Walkes. Dominique Badji's shot pushed just wide of the net in the 24th minute.
Nashville's efforts were rewarded in the 28th minute when Walker Zimmerman scored the team's first goal in MLS history to tie the score at 1. An initial free kick by Nashville was headed down in the penalty area by Zimmerman, who pushed his right-footed shot past Guzan.
Hyndman's goal in the 37th minute gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. He took a deflected ball off his chest and hit a right-footed shot past Willis.
Nashville's best scoring opportunity in the second half came in the 78th minute when Leal's shot hit the near post. Alan Winn's cross attempt in the 85th minute was caught by Guzan in the penalty area.
Willis received a yellow card in the 94th minute for playing a handball outside of the penalty area.