Expansion Team Atlanta United Takes MLS by Storm


Ashfiq Islam, Staff Writer

From high quality players to the number of goals scored, Atlanta United, the newest MLS team, truly shows what being a successful team means. Their league rank shows what they have accomplished. Atlanta United is the most successful expansion team in MLS history.

The idea of Atlanta United first came to mind of Arthur Blank, the creator of Home Depot and owner of the Falcons first thought about creating Atlanta United in 2008, but quickly withdrew in 2009 due to inability of creating a new stadium. In 2012, MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, met with Blank and said that in order for Atlanta to have an MLS team, they had to have plans for a new stadium confirmed. After hearing that and knowing the Falcons needed a new stadium, Arthur Blank decided to create Mercedes-Benz Stadium. On April 16, 2014, Atlanta United was formed.

Atlanta United has beaten top teams in the league, one of them being the San Jose Earthquakes. Atlanta United’s star players throughout the season include, Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, Yamil Asad, and Tito Villalba. These four have scored 29 goals. In all, the team has scored 42 goals, the most in the league. Josef Martinez is considered the team’s top player because of his ball control, skills, and the number of goals he has scored. He was named the MLS Player of the Month for March after scoring five goals in his first three games in the league. The team is very diverse, including players from Argentina, Venezuela, and America.

Atlanta United’s coach, Gerardo [Tata] Martino has coached some of the most successful teams in soccer history, including FC Barcelona and the Argentine National Team (AFA). Most of the credit goes to Martino for making Atlanta such a great team. The players love him, the fans love him, and most importantly, he’s a great coach.

While Mercedes-Benz stadium was under construction, Atlanta United played at Bobby Dodd stadium, home of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Atlanta United has had record attendance at their games. All nine home games have sold out, totaling 416,864 fans. Bobby Dodd has never been more popular. In fact, the fans have been so passionate, Atlanta United announced that the number 17, has been reserved just for the fans in honor of their commitment to the team.

It’s the 25th minute. Tyrone Mears crosses the ball and Yamil Asad receives it. Asad reacts quickly and volleys the ball into the back of the net. The stadium erupts in cheers and shouts and the players start to celebrate. Yamil Asad just scored the first goal in Atlanta United history. Unfortunately, they did lose the game 2-1, but the following game was a thriller. Atlanta United took on Minnesota United, their sister team, and the game was off to a fiery start. Josef Martinez opened the scoring at the 3rd minute, 10 minutes later the score was 2-0, as Miguel Almiron scored. Josef Martinez netted another 2 goals at the 27th and 75th minutes. Miguel Almiron scored another one and that was followed by Jacob Peterson’s header. The final score at TCF Bank Stadium was 6-1. Atlanta took all three points. Full highlights in the link below.

Atlanta United has had an amazing inaugural season, the most successful opening season of any MLS expansion team. MLS fans and analysts say that Atlanta United have the highest team chemistry in the league. By beating Orlando City, NYCFC, and San Jose Earthquakes, Atlanta United experienced a morale boost and jumped forward. They beat their sister team 6-1 and destroyed Houston Dynamo 4-0. United has the best fan base in MLS and will soon have the best stadium in the world to play in. Atlanta United’s motto, Unite and Conquer, describes their success. This team has the potential to get to the finals and even lift the trophy, in their Inaugural Season.

“Atlanta United” www.atlutd.com.
“Yamil Asad Scores Atlanta United’s First Goal | Atlanta United FC Highlights | 3.5.17”
“HIGHLIGHTS: Atlanta United 6-1 Minnesota United” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBH8lO9X0eo
HIGHLIGHTS: Atlanta United 1-0 Orlando City” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfEELVn4Y1Y
“Atlanta United FC vs Orlando City SC 1-1” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0aTmdBqcsI