With six points in three matches, Atlanta United can be happy with how they’ve kicked off their inaugural season, but team captain Michael Parkhurst admits they still have plenty of room to grow. However, when asked if the support of the fans could be better, the 33-year-old center back responded in awe.
“Honestly, it’s been fantastic. Above and beyond anything we could have imagined. We’re very grateful that when we go out there for home games we have 55,000, 45,000 fans out there cheering us on. It’s a huge momentum boost, it really is.”
The 2017 expansion side has sold out its first two home matches, garnering a combined attendance of over 100,000, making them only the second MLS club in history to do so.
“I’ve spoken with other guys [on other teams] playing here and they’re in admiration of it. Word is spreading around the league that something special is going on here and it’s because of the fans.”
“If we go out there and we win 4-0 but there’s only 4,000 fans there, it’s different vs if we go out there and win in front of 45,000 fans and it’s loud, it’s crazy and fans are enjoying themselves. It’s just a different atmosphere,” Parkhurst stated. “It’s special and we’re trying to do our part to live up to what the fans are doing because they’ve been special.”
Last time out the expansion squad put on quite the show for their home fans as they cruised past the Chicago Fire in four-goal fashion in front of a raving 45,922 sellout crowd. In terms of the fans, Parkhurst says the passionate environment in Atlanta reminds him of his time with FC Augsburg in the German Bundesliga.
“Every stadium you go to in Germany is full. They’re singing, there’s an atmosphere, and that’s what it’s like here in Atlanta but even bigger,” said the captain. “Not too many places can you get 45,000-50,000 consistently and I know it’s only been two games, but I think based on those two, I expect the same for the third because they’ve both been fun, exciting games and the crowd’s been awesome.”
Following a four match road stretch, Parkhurst and Atlanta United will play their next home match in the ATL on April 30 when they face Eastern Conference opponents D.C. United. Join the incredible atmosphere and secure your seat for the match here.