Exactly one year ago today, thousands of Atlanta soccer fans gathered to witness the introduction of the united circle, the gold “A” and the iconic black and red stripes that would put a face to the city’s new MLS Franchise. Since that historic moment, Atlanta United has taken huge steps in becoming a professional soccer club, immersing itself in the community, partnering with distinguished organizations, and forming a world class team both on and off the field. With the rapidly growing support of the best fans in the world, United has been able to accomplish so much in just one calendar year, so we thought we’d share some unforgettable memories:
Our New Homes
AMB Sports & Entertainment announced Mercedes-Benz as the official naming partner for the New Atlanta Stadium. Along with the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United will host its home competitions at the new state-of-the-art stadium featuring the latest world-class turf from GreenFields. See the incredible progress below:
This year, Atlanta United also released its plans and renderings for world class training grounds in Marietta, GA. The entire pyramid of the club from Academy to First Team will utilize the facilities as one unified club through and through. View the time lapse below for the ground's early development.
Since the start of 2016, the first-team roster has seen its inaugural additions:
Alexander Tambakis - GK
Junior Burgos - MID
Jeffrey Otoo - FWD
Andrew Carleton - CAM
Chris McCann - CDM
Among the bunch is Atlanta United’s first Homegrown Player, Andrew Carleton, who rode to the Varsity with Arthur Blank himself to sign his homegrown contract. In case you missed it, check out the video here:
Keep an eye out! Many more exciting moves to come as United inches closer to its inaugural MLS season in 2017!
Atlanta United Partners
Atlanta United has partnered with top tier organizations in the community to give fans the best experience possible and reach the club’s fullest potential. Just to call out a few: Mercedes Benz with the new state-of-the-art stadium, GreenFields with world-class turf, and SunTrust with our Youth Academy.
United in the Community
The community and our fans are what defines us. We are not only a team; we are a football club. Below are just a few of the many activities, events, and community involvements in the Atlanta area from year one:
Soccer in the Streets
- Atlanta United staff formed a squad for the annual ATL Champions League benefitting Soccer in the Streets. The team came up victorious and earned its first trophy for the club!
Boxing Day Scarf Exchange
- Second annual scarf exchange where anyone in the community is welcome to join Atlanta United in trading scarves and donating to local soccer charity, Soccer in the Streets.
Inman Park March
- Making a statement at the Inman Park Parade in April, Atlanta United marched with supporters groups to show Atlanta the strength, passion and voice of their new MLS franchise.
- Atlanta United joined the AMB Sorts & Entertainment staff and took a day to help improve the Westside of Atlanta. Many local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, Bellwood Boys & Girls Club, and The First Tee of Atlanta were part of our day. United staff participated in painting homes, building park benches, sorting donated foods and landscaping various recreational areas.
- Along with our loyal supporter groups and local pubs & breweries, Atlanta United hosted over 20 viewing parties for matches throughout the course of the English Premier League season, Copa America Centenario and UEFA Euro 2016.
- As an ongoing fun summer activity for the community, Atlanta United started Flag Friday last month in which hundreds of flags are placed in various neighborhoods in and around Atlanta to send fans on a scavenger hunt.
The Future Has Arrived
In March, the first Atlanta United Youth Academy team (u12) competed in Generation Adidas cup in Dallas.
Since then, United has:
- Formed 5 full Academy squads (u12, u13, u14, u16, and u18)
- Hired Richard Money as its Academy Director (extensive playing and coaching experience at the professional level)
- Hosted all the new Academy players and their families at a welcome dinner on the rooftop of Ponce City Market
We have teamed up with the top local youth soccer clubs in order to gather the best of the best in Atlanta. By placing these young players in a professional environment early on, players will learn, develop, and compete at the highest level to give them the best opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Thank you for your continued support, excitement, and passion for Atlanta United. We have accomplished so much in year one together as a unified football club, but remember, this is just the beginning!