Hello, hi, hello. You are a fan of Atlanta United FC, soon to be the greatest soccer club this country has ever seen, right? Sure you are. Otherwise, why would you be here? So this post is called The Daily Dirt (the blog is called Dirty South Soccer, see?) and it will serve as your daily morning link dump. We'll focus on AUFC news as it comes available — the team begins play in 2017; news might be slow at first — and also touch on MLS, international soccer, and other Atlanta sports. Go ahead, skirt the next hour or so of work with the following reading material.
Remember back when it came to light that the United States would host the 2016 Copa America men's tournament? Those were good times. The idea of the USMNT playing the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez in competitive matches on home soil was thrilling, though also a little bit terrifying. Well, it looks like anyone who might be afraid that Jurgen's boys aren't up for it can rest easy.
After four months of doubt and speculation, all signs now point to U.S. Soccer withdrawing as host of the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament over unresolved concerns about legal liability that emerged after several top soccer and marketing officials connected to the tournament were arrested in May.
It seems that the tournament will most likely be played in Mexico or somewhere in South America. And if the U.S. doesn't host, it won't compete. Boo.
Wednesday's MLS action
Hey, that's a good goal. Although, Carli Lloyd did it first (and then she did it again). Such a poser, Florenzi. Nevertheless, the Roma right back's fantastic strike was so good that everyone else on the field gave up, and the final result was 1-1.
Poor Arsenal. The Gunners were forced to begin their Champions League campaign with the dreaded trip to eastern Europe. We all should have anticipated the result: a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored an own goal, and Olivier Giroud was sent off with a second yellow in the 40th minute. Let's check in with the Gooners over at The Short Fuse.
Oh, well that's —
No, that's not good.
What else is happening in The A?
The Braves fell at home to the Blue Jays, 9-1. Don't think the Bravos are going to take the pennant this year, folks.
Offensive lineman Jake Long's first practice with the Falcons was Wednesday. Afterward he said, "I just want to play football." We've got good news for you, Jake: It's your job to play football.
The Hawks have some new game socks, and like the rest of their new uniforms, they're great (or god awful, depending on your disposition; there is no middle ground here).