Atlanta United FC (football club), the local MLS expansion team that has sold over 30K season tickets, officially opened their new home April 11th and the facilities are amazing.
The $60 million, 33 acres, 30,000 square foot facility includes 6 full-size fields is a win/win for Atlanta United and sponsor Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Just off the interstate on the Franklin Gateway in Marietta the Five Stripes, a popular team nickname, welcomed a small group of supporters, sponsors and media to tour the new facility.
Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, was on hand as well as MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Team President Darren Eales, and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. The invitation-only event, to what is widely regarded as the best training grounds in MLS Soccer, was a celebration of Mr. Blank’s commitment to having the best soccer team in North America.
On the pitch, Atlanta United has raced out to a third place spot in the Eastern Conference (2W-1L-2T 8 pts.) leading in goals scored and exciting matches. The hot start comes despite the expansion team’s lack of time to train together, not having their training grounds complete before the season and 3 of their first 5 games on the road. The two home games were sellouts and the fans have adopted a #UnitedWeStand mentality. Not only representing the fans solidarity with the team, but also the entire stadium stands, chants and sings for the 90 minute match.
South American speedsters like Josef Martinez (the league’s leading scorer who is nursing an injury), Miguel Almiron and Tito Villalba have meshed well with MLS veterans such as Michael Parkhurst (team captain) and Jeff Larentowicz as well as European players like Tyrone Mears and Chris McCann. Internationally respected manager Tata Martino has immediately implemented a high pressing – quick strike philosophy that has proven to be just as exciting as it is effective.
If you are going to build a world class organization from the ground up, it makes sense to have a world class training ground. Atlanta United has accomplished that goal. From the state of the art weight room to the manicured fields the entire complex is top notch. Facilities like this not only help the current team but makes it easier to recruit the next wave of young talented players to Atlanta. Welcome home Atlanta United! Follow them on Facebook for more information. Since one field has capacity for 2,500 seats – hopefully the public can watch them train soon.
Doug Roberson is an OTP Atlanta resident interested in all things sports and technology – An avid supporter of Atlanta sports teams, proud father, and happy husband. He is also involved with The Faction United support group.
We were excited that Doug could represent Scoop OTP at this event since he has been to every home game, has season tickets in the Mercedes-Benz Club section, and went to an away game in Minnesota where it was snowing. He also attended the pre-season friendly matches. Thanks Doug for the Scoop!