Oleeee, Ole, Ole, Olee…Major League Soccer has arrived in Atlanta! Having made their inaugural season debut on March 5 of this year, the ATL’s new MLS franchise, Atlanta United FC (a.k.a. “The Five Stripes”), has been dubbed the “darling of MLS.” I’m telling you…ATLiens are IN LOVE with this new team! Want in? Get up to speed with these 5 Things To Know About “The Five Stripes.”
The Thrasher’s departure from Atlanta in 2011 (previous Atlanta NHL team) left a void in the Atlanta sports network, which Home Depot co-founder and Falcons Owner, Arthur Blank, saw the opportunity to fill. With the ball already rolling on a new stadium for his beloved Falcons (the Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Blank solidified the plans by proposing that a new MLS franchise also call the stadium home. MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, loved the idea, believing that Atlanta was a perfect city for league expansion! In April 2014, the league awarded Blank and his team a franchise. Atlanta United would debut in 2017 as a member of the Eastern MLS Conference.
In Atlanta, we go big or go home! Can I get an “Amen?” And let me tell you, the Atlanta United roster surely abides by this spirit. Capturing local, national, and global talent via an aggressive drafting strategy, Atlanta United snatched some gems, both young and “seasoned.” Keep an eye out for these guys on the pitch (soccer lingo for “field”):
Designated Players & South American Threats
Miguel Almirón (Midfielder)
Josef Martínez (Forward)
Héctor “Tito” Villalba (Midfielder)
Jeff Larentowicz (Midfielder) (Field Player with 9th Most MLS Starts)
Michael Parkhurst (Defender) (Team Captain)
Andrew Carleton (Midfielder) (Homegrown from the Academy – Age 16)
Alec Kann (Goalkeeper)
Tata Martino (Head Coach)
Darren Eales (Franchise/Club President)
Hint, Hint: Atlanta United’s colors are black, red, and gold, so cheer for the guys in those colors!
- Progress Report
The number of fans in attendance at the first three Atlanta United games!
This number is the largest in MLS history for a team’s inaugural season, surpassing LA Galaxy’s show out of 130,073 fans for their 1996 debut. Since then, the crowds haven’t ceased. All four home games have sold out Atlanta United’s temporary residence, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech. They’re truly uniting our city, just as their name intended!
In fact, before each game is a special moment—a tradition to continue for years to come. While entering the stadium, Atlanta United players sign a golden spike symbolizing the 1837 birth of Atlanta. Following the players, fans sign the spike, before it’s hammered into a platform in a huge spectacle before kickoff. Atlanta Dream and Falcon’s players, along with rapper Rich Homie Quan, have done the hammering honors thus far.
Then, after the game, one Atlanta United player is honored for their performance with a small golden spike, which they hammer into a section of track from Atlanta’s historical railroad. The act symbolizes “strength, unity, and fortitude” as Atlanta established their place in the South and as they establish their place in Major League Soccer.
So far, Atlanta United has a record of 5 wins, 4 losses, and 3 ties. They are currently ranked 7th of 11 teams in the MLS Eastern Conference. In order to participate in the MLS Cup Playoffs following the regular season (March-October), teams must rank top six in their conference. The top six from each conference—Eastern and Western—then go onto compete in the playoffs for the title of MLS Cup Champion!
- Home Games (remaining)
Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:00PM ET
Saturday, June 24, 2017 7:00PM ET
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 7:00PM ET
Saturday, July 29, 2017 5:00PM ET
Sunday, September 10, 2017 3:30PM ET
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 7:00PM ET
Saturday, September 16, 2017 4:00PM ET
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:00PM ET
Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:00PM ET
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 7:00PM ET
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 7:00PM ET
Sunday, October 22, 2017 4:00PM ET
- Before You Go
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