One of the teams competing to dethrone Seattle Sounders FC as the champions of Major League Soccer (MLS) is Atlanta United FC, commonly known as Atlanta United. The club won the U.S. Open Cup in 2019 and became champions in playoff’s 2018 season.
The American professional soccer club is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The club competes in MLS as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference. Atalanta United was established on April 16, 2014, and started playing as an MLS expansion team in 2017, as the twenty-second team in the league.
It is the first MLS franchise to be based in Atlanta, and the club plays home games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a capacity of 42,500 and it is expandable to 73,019 capacity. Atalanta United share the stadium with the city’s National Football League (NFL) franchise, the Atlanta Falcons.
Both clubs are owned by Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot. The club also owns Atlanta United 2, a reserve team that competes in the USL Championship (USLC). The club is coached by Dutch football manager, Frank de Boer, and its nickname is called “The Five Stripes” based on the five stripes on the team’s inaugural home kits.
The team’s name, logo, and colors were unveiled on July 7, 2015. The logo features a circle reminiscent of the city’s seal and Olympic heritage with a bold “A” at the center of the circle. Behind the “A” are five black and red stripes representing the five pillars of the team. The team’s official colors are black, red and gold.
Gerardo “Tata” Martino was appointed as the club’s first head coach and guided Atlanta to their first playoff appearance in the team’s debut season, before securing the team’s first trophy in just their second season by winning MLS Cup 2018.
Based on 2018 regular-season attendance, Atlanta has one of the largest fanbases in MLS, and they have set several league records for the highest single-match and average attendance. In 2019, Forbes estimated the club was the most valuable in the league, worth approximately $500 million.
Atlanta’s first regular-season MLS game was played on March 5, 2017 at Bobby Dodd Stadium with 55,297 in attendance. Yamil Asad scored the first goal in team history in a 2–1 loss to New York Red Bulls. A week later, the team registered its first win with a 6–1 away defeat of fellow expansion team Minnesota United FC.
On March 18, 2017, the team registered its first win at home, beating Chicago Fire, who went down to ten men in the eleventh minute, 4–0 in front of a sold-out Bobby Dodd Stadium. Following its move to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the team continued leading the league in attendance and averaged more than 48,000 in its home league matches.
The club also broke records for attendance for a non-doubleheader MLS game and average single-season attendance for a U.S. soccer team. Atlanta clinched a berth in the playoffs, becoming the third MLS expansion team to do so in their inaugural season, by finishing tied for third place in the Eastern Conference; due to tiebreaking rules, Atlanta was seeded fourth.
In its first playoff game, the team faced Columbus Crew and set a then-MLS attendance record for a playoff game with 67,221 spectators in attendance. After 120 minutes of scoreless action, the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out, which Columbus won 3–1 to eliminate Atlanta.
Atlanta United players salaries budget increase in 2020. According to sources, new signings hike the budget 25% more than previous season. The club signed some new players for the 2020 and players such as Fernando Meza and Edgar Castillo signed new contracts with the club before the new season.
The highest-paid player in Atalanta United is Venezuelan striker Josef Martínez, who earns $3,000,000.00 as a basic salary. The 2018 league MVP and Golden Boot winner suffered a torn right ACL in Atlanta United’s season opener on Feb. 29
Atlanta United player salaries for 2019, as released by the MLS Players Union, as of June 1, 2019.
|Leandro Gonzalez Pirez||D||$775,008.00||$810,008.00|
|Jose Rafael Hernandez||D||$140,004.00||$140,004.00|