Over halfway through their inaugural season in MLS, Atlanta United and their fans have turned heads all around the world. Breaking records on and off the field, the club is currently on track to become one of the most successful expansion teams to ever join the league. Let’s take a deeper dive at all the numbers surrounding the Five Stripes so far this season:
10-7-5 (6th in the East)
Atlanta United hold a 10-7-5 (10 wins, 7 losses, 5 draws) record through 22 matches of regular MLS season play in their inaugural year. With 35 total points, Atlanta sit at 6th in the Eastern Conference standings, currently in playoff position with a few games in hand, with most teams having at least 23 if not more matches under their belt.
6-2-1 Home Record
With 6 wins, a draw and only two losses, Atlanta boast an impressive record at home. Only hosting nine teams thus far this season, the expansion side have played the least amount of home games among the entire league. Unbeaten in their last six in the ATL and with a plethora of matches in their new home of Mercedes-Benz Stadium coming up in September, Atlanta will hope to cash in on the home-field advantage to close out the 2017 season.
46,318 Average Attendance
Leading the league in average attendance with 46,318, the Atlanta faithful are proving that the ATL is not only a soccer town but the destination for the sport in the Southeast. Through the expansion side’s first three matches, they recorded three-sellout crowds and 147,230 in total attendance, the first club to reach that number in the history of MLS. In Atlanta’s inaugural game against New York Red Bulls, 55,297 showed up to support the Five Stripes and on that weekend it stood as the fourth-largest soccer match in the world.
Consistently at the top of the scoring charts week in and week out, Atlanta’s 42-goal tally this year is currently tied for 4th most in the league, just four behind the league's best. At the helm of their lethal attack is the South American trio of Tito Villalba (10), Josef Martinez (9) and Miguel Almirón (8), who have combined for 27 of the club’s 42 so far this year. Atlanta is averaging 2.44 goals per game at home and with the most home matches left to play in the league, we could see Atlanta slide to number one on the goal-scoring charts by the end of 2017.
Behind their impressive goal tally is not the product of individual talent but the cohesiveness, chemistry and quality of connecting play between Tata Martino’s team. Through the team’s fast-paced, possession-oriented style, Atlanta United has recorded a total of 39 assists so far this year. Atlanta’s Yamil Asad (10) and Miguel Almirón (9) sit near the top of the league assist chart and have shown no signs of slowing down.
5 Clean Sheets
A strong, bolstered back line does not come at the snap of a finger, but after a few months learning and growing together, Atlanta’s defense is beginning to look like a group that’s been together for much longer than half of a season. The expansion side has only conceded four goals in their last six matches – three of them shut outs – which now brings their total to five clean sheets on the year.
13+ Goal Differential
With their recent strong defensive form, in addition to their knack for hitting the back of the net, Atlanta hold a +13 goal differential on the season which ranks 3rd best in MLS at the moment. If they can finish 2017 in the positive range, they would be only the 3rd expansion side ever to finish with a positive goal differential in their first year. Both of those other expansion sides to finish with a positive goal differential ended up making the playoffs.
16 Road Points
Atlanta United has endured a heavy road schedule to start the year but have demonstrated their resilience yielding a total of 16 away points which ranks 2nd in the league (only Toronto have tallied more with 17). In a league where home-field advantage is a proven fact and travel requirements are extremely demanding, this statistic could arguably be the most crucial of all and could be the difference if Atlanta are to qualify for playoffs.