Homework: describe with your own words what a Major League Soccer club represents for you. Imagining to receive this task, I honestly think I would struggle because I don’t really have a clear idea of what a club that plays in the American League actually is. I explain myself: I struggle in identifying the MLS franchises according to the European clubs’ norms, of which I know the main traits after years of loyal passion, just like familiar faces in a crowd of people.

But for the MLS clubs, the matter is different. The Los Angeles Galaxy? Who knows, Beckham used to play there so they were super cool, but after that, I only remember the signing of one of my Football Manager idols, Giovani Dos Santos. I used to think that Orlando City was the name of a Disney park in Florida, about the New York Red Bulls I only know that they are some sort of football version of the Panama retirement and I just wonder why Toronto took all those years to win a championship. Said That - and acknowledged my ignorance on the matter - I started to investigate the American reality, finding out that in the Major League Soccer there also are one of the most hype clubs of the moment: Atlanta United Football Club.

 

The story

Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 0
 

Well, of course, this particular chapter of the Georgia-based club can’t be compared with the one of any European club, that can at least count on some decades of football history. Atlanta United’s story, though, is the typical example of American stubbornness and determination, as the team was supposed to born in 2008, but it was blocked by the impossibility of presenting a regular stadium. Nevertheless, the commitment of the Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank let the city - one of US biggest metropolitan areas - realize its dream, having its own MLS club. The news arrived on April 16, 2014, bringing a team back in the Southeast almost twenty years later, after Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny faded in 2001.

 

The shirt

Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 22
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 13
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 21
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 0

Then, the logo and shirt design phase of the newborn MLS franchise started. We can just praise the choice of Atlanta management, that realized a simple badge - it’s something, considering they’re American - and most of all some super-stylish shirts. The adidas Football home jersey has vertical black and red stripes, with an elegant golden detailing that is also part of the crest. But this season, the second in the MLS for Atlanta, the club unveiled “King Peach”, the white/peach away shirt that homages one of the symbols of the city. One of the best shirts of the year, hands down.

 

The Stadium

 

If you’re some sort of football stadiums enthusiasts like I am, you’ve surely seen the stunning Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We’re talking about a structure that cost something like 1,5 billion dollars, that we presented to you as one of the best stadiums opened in 2017. The stadium as a variable capacity for Atlanta United and Falcons’ games, but the maximum capacity is about 72,000 (we’re going to talk about that later). The most amazing thing has to be the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof, made by eight translucent triangular panels, inspired by the Roman Pantheon.

 

The Supporters

Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 19
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 20
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 18
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 17
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 16
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 15
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 14
 

One of the things that made me like Atlanta United the most are the supporters. Just to give you an idea, in September 2015, two years before the first official match of the club played in September 2017, Atlanta United already sold 29,000 season tickets for the first MLS season. The foundation of the first supporters club, the Terminus Legion, was in 2011 and the club supports all the football activities in the Atlanta area, while the Footie Mob - a reference to the hip-hop group Goodie Mob - bring the musical scene of the city, one of the most active in the American panorama, to the stadium.

Maybe Atlanta supporters won’t be compared with their European alter-egos, but they sure are something more than a simple gathering of people or a marketing operation, as proven by their will to show the cultural and social heritage of the city. Footnote: in its first MLS season, Atlanta United smashed every single record for average attendance in the American league, with more than 48,200 supporters per game. In the first home game of the 2018 season against DC United, the Georgia-based club destroyed the record of stadium attendance for the third time, recording 72,035 supporters on the stands. The same that Man United had at Old Trafford for the big match against Liverpool.

 

The Golden Spike

Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 11
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 1
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 2
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 3
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 4
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 5
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 6
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 7
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 10
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 12
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 8
Unite and Conquer A travel in Atlanta United FC world, the best club in the Major League Soccer | Image 9
 

The popular tradition claims that back when the city was founded in 1836 a golden spike was planted in the clay, marking the Zero Milestone of Central Avenue, once a commercial line to the Midwest and now an integral part of downtown Atlanta. And before United’s all-time debut in the MLS, all the players in the team and hundreds of supporters signed an 8-foot-long Golden Spike with a black felt-tip, that every game before kickoff it’s “planted” in the stadium, while all the supporters beat time chanting “A-T-L-A-T-L”.

During the various games, several VIPs and special guests succeeded in planting the Golden Spike with the hammer, surrounded by a cheering crowd. The first to do that was artist and actor Young Joc, but later they also had Rich Homie Quan, Dennis Schroder, Metro Boomin, and 2 Chainz. PS: at the end of every game, Atlanta United’s player of the match is awarded with a golden spike - a regular sized one - that he plants with a hammer in the wooden boards that hold the Golden Spike. Feelings.