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Is Atlanta using Merritt Paulson to leak good news?

The answer my surprise you.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In journalism, sometimes organizations like to share good news anonymously with reporters to get a message out instead of just bragging about it themselves. This allows the team to respond and control the message, while providing a public service.

Late night on Dec. 9 Portland Timbers Owner Merrit Paulson went on local radio and said that Atlanta United has 35,000 season ticket deposits. That would be significantly higher than the last reported figure of 29,000.

We've isolated the audio for you all here:

We reached out to Merritt to get clarification on twitter. He was kind enough to respond (then eventually delete the tweet which we luckily screen capped):

Since we don't believe in posting rumors without context here at Dirty South Soccer we reached out to the league and Atlanta United to get the most updated numbers. Thankfully, they responded via a team spokesperson:

The 35K number is not accurate (although we like that Merritt erred on the high side!) The number is still the 29,000 number of deposits that was recently reported."

Sadly we will not be able to trust Merritt Paulson as our source for inside info on all things Atlanta United. We will still bring you top quality content like this post though.