It was love that brought Daniel Pop from his home in Melbourne, Australia to Atlanta, Georgia. Daniel lived in Australia his whole life, but as his budding relationship with his now-wife Loredana turned serious, an international move was an easy decision. But it still didn’t quite feel like home.
“When we got married, he always said he didn’t feel at home in Atlanta because there was no soccer team,” Loredana says. “But since Atlanta United came on the stage he’s just been blown away.”
Ever since, Daniel has gone all in on his new hometown club. Whether he’s in the stands with his new wife or at home watching on TV, they don’t miss a match.
“It’s amazing to be a part of a new team,” Daniel says. “Atlanta is an incredible team and they have the fans behind them to become the best team in America.”
Even Loredana, who says she had never watched soccer before, is getting into the game. And while she’s still learning the ins and outs of the strategy, she’s always cheering.
“She doesn’t watch soccer unless Atlanta is playing,” Daniel says. “So that’s pretty cool, now she’s cheering and screaming at the television.”
Loredana says Daniel has always gone above and beyond for her, so when they found out they had children on the way, she knew she had to go big. She wanted Atlanta United, the team that made Atlanta feel like home, to be involved, so she reached out to the club. To her surprise, Daniel’s two favorite players – Miguel Almirón and Josef Martinez – agreed to help reveal the gender of the twin babies.
Holding hands with his wife, Daniel watched as Miguel and dropped Josef dropped a soccer ball onto their foot and kicked. Two pink clouds to announce twin baby girls: Emmanuela and Daniella. Emma and Ella for short.
“I had absolutely no idea,” Daniel said. “At one point I thought it was boys, then I thought it was girls. She did a good job confusing me. The crazy thing is we wanted twins. We prayed about having twins and our prayers were answered.”
Along with a great memory, Daniel and Loredana left the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training ground with two pint-sized jerseys for little Emma and Ella with the supporters’ number 17 and “POP” printed on the back.
“We’re going to have to take a picture of the kids in these jerseys,” Daniel said. “We’ll definitely be getting them season tickets as well as soon as they’re old enough to go to the games.”
Two new additions to the Pop household, and two new members of the Five Stripes family.