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Atlanta United: the future of MLS?

Senior+Jake+Estroff+captures+his+view+from+Atlanta+United%27s+home+debut.
Senior Jake Estroff captures his view from Atlanta United's home debut.

Senior Jake Estroff captures his view from Atlanta United's home debut.

Senior Jake Estroff captures his view from Atlanta United's home debut.

Andrew Freedman, Co-Managing Editor

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Being a die-hard sports fan, I love seeing teams represented proudly; I’ve grown fond of Atlanta United fans these last few weeks. The excitement of having a professional soccer team is relatively new to the city, but Atlanta has unwaveringly embraced it. It’s been a long journey, but ATL finally has a local pro soccer team to celebrate. That being said, this team has rapidly united Atlanta.

In April of 2014, Atlanta United was announced as an expansion team for the 2017 Major League Soccer (MLS) season, and few expectations were immediately set for them. On March 5, 2017, after nearly three years of anticipation, the MLS was introduced to one of its newest teams: Atlanta United FC. This past week, I caught up with a few Weber students to ask what their expectations are for this team.

As the team with the best goal differential in MLS, Atlanta United has built a winning recipe, which senior Harris Helberg briefly acknowledged.

Atlanta United is a fantastic addition to the city in terms of revenue and spirit.  Based on their last couple of games, winning seems part of the teams’ culture, so hopefully they can keep this up!”

— Harris Helberg

Avid Atlanta sports fan, Ben La Kier, is especially intrigued by the way Atlanta United is playing and believes it sets them up for a promising future.

“I feel very good about Atlanta United. They are very young and skilled, with a ton of potential. Their fast paced style of play is not only proving to be successful, but it is also fun to watch. I look forward to watching Atlanta United take the MLS by storm this season.”

Moreover, Ben isn’t the only one who believes the future is bright for his new favorite team. Senior Scott Storper offered me his insight for the team’s next few years.

“They will be a very good expansion by singing guys who aren’t super old but younger guys who haven’t hit their prime yet and will be a big contender this year for a championship and for years to come. The future is very bright for ATLANTA UNITED.”

With an average age of just over 25 years-old and two wins in their first three games, this exciting team is turning non-soccer fans into enthusiastic and animated ones. Senior Jonathan Vainer is one of many in this category.

I’ve never really been into soccer, but Atlanta United has really piqued my interest. They’ve been exciting to watch, and the way they have uplifted the city is amazing. Can’t wait for what’s to come!”

— Jonathan Vainer

Furthermore, this team is turning the heads of non-Atlanta sports fans. As sophomore, Ryan Gold, told me, it’s also bringing the city together and gaining serious attention.

“I was never an Atlanta sports fan,” he confessed, “but Atlanta United dragged me in. I love soccer, and Atlanta United are extremely exciting and have a ton of potential. I love seeing the passion from the entire city, and I’m excited for what the future has in store.”

Ryan isn’t the only person who is intrigued by Atlanta United. As freshman Ian Quegan told me, “As this is the first Atlanta-based pro sports team that I root for, I feel that the future for them is very bright.”

Prior to writing this, I didn’t realize how excited Weber students were to finally have an MLS team in Atlanta. But after hearing what they have to say, it’s evident to say that this is a devoted fan base and city dedicated to their team. I look forward to seeing how Atlanta United can unite Atlanta.

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