Amidst the madness of the record-breaking attendance and the thrilling home opening victory, the club’s first Golden Spike of 2018 found its first recipient. After his top corner strike – now an MLS Goal of the Week nominee – as well as his pinpoint service to Tito Villalba for the dagger, Miguel Almirón earned the fans’ vote as the Golden Spike winner on Sunday.
But what exactly is the Golden Spike? As a nod the city’s railroad roots, the Spike has become an Atlanta United matchday tradition, essentially split into two parts, integrated before the match and beyond the final whistle.
First, the players sign the Spike as they arrive to the stadium, and after the fans welcome the team, they add their own names to the golden relic. Before kickoff, a select number of supporters carry that same spike down to the platform fronting the supporters’ section. Then, with a hammer, a chosen ATLien strikes it three times as the entire stadium of red, black and gold roars them on “A”-“T”-“L”.
The second part of the tradition occurs near the end of the match and through the final whistle as ATL UTD fans vote via twitter (@ATLUTD) on who they believe has earned the match’s Golden Spike for an impressive performance. With his goal, assist and game-changing energy, this week’s poll winner was the number 10, Miguel Almirón.
After the match ended, the Paraguayan and his iconic smile stepped up from the field to receive the first Golden Spike of 2018 from the Supporters. Engraved in this smaller, metal spike is the Atlanta United crest and the date of the match. After he is scarved by the supporters and hammers the spike in to the club’s “railroad track”, he receives a duplicate for his own safe-keeping – a token full of memories that he can hold on to for years to come.
While Almirón earned the vote for the Golden Spike in the home opener, he’s just one of many to come as Chapter 2 has officially kicked off in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Make sure you’re there on Saturday to see ATL UTD hit the field once again and see who takes home the next Golden Spike. Secure your seat to Atlanta vs Vancouver here.
To learn more about the club’s Golden Spike tradition, click here.