Grady community rallies behind Atlanta United


courtesy of Marty Thomasson

Jacob Dillard

Atlanta’s new soccer club has started off in the league scoring 11 goals in 3 games as well as putting off the rival expansion team Minnesota United 6-1. Their leading scorer, Josef Martinez, has shocked the league, scoring 5 goals in his first three games. Atlanta United has sold over 30,000 season tickets to fans across Georgia, including students at Grady.

“When I first heard that we were getting an MLS team, I was delighted,” junior Colin Thomasson said. Thomasson,a goalkeeper on the varsity soccer team, has always been a huge soccer fan and the addition of an MLS team has made it easier for him to keep up with local sports.

“Everyone in the city is supporting them which changes the attitude toward the team and it makes you like them even more,” Thomasson said.

In Atlanta United’s season opener vs the New York Red Bulls, 55,297 fans flooded the Bobby Dodd Stadium, the fourth-largest soccer crowd worldwide that week.

“The experience was unreal,” sophomore Nicho Cucchi, said. “The game, being my first time going to a pro soccer game, was amazing,”  

Atlanta United players commented on the robust atmosphere by describing it as “louder” and “crazier” than they thought it would be.

Junior Sho Dixon said he wasn’t a big follower of soccer or the MLS until Atlanta United was founded.

“I would go and support our local team, the semi-professional Atlanta Silverbacks, by going to their games,” Dixon said. “But now getting to see a more competitive game with literally everything larger from the crowds to the field is much more thrilling,”

Dixon’s father is a founding member of the team and frequently goes to support them. He is also a member of Footie Mob, a group organized by fans to hold special events such as tailgates before games as well as gain special access to the Atlanta United training ground.

Atlanta United’s first season has given many people their first professional soccer game experience.

“The experience was unreal,” Cucchi said, “The fans made the time at the stadium a lot better and the team played well, so it was great.”  

courtesy of Marty Thomasson
courtesy of Marty Thomasson
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