Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote this morning about the championship drought in Atlanta. The Braves won their only World Series in 1995. The Falcons have been to one Super Bowl, but have no championships since their launch in 1966. The Hawks won a NBA championship in St. Louis before they moved to Atlanta, they have not reached the NBA Finals during their time here. The Flames and Thrashers never played in a Stanley Cup finals during their time in Atlanta.
I’ll forgive the omission of the Atlanta Chiefs’ NASL title in 1968 as that team and league did not survive, and will not complain about an anti-soccer bias. Can Atlanta United accelerate the usual expansion team’s timeline to becoming a championship contender? Can they force their way into this discussion?
United has consistently said that their goal is to win. Thus far, their investments have matched their ambitions. While that is not always a guarantee for success, it is an important part of achieving it. The Hawks’ new ownership is also proving to be very aggressive in investing, with plans announced this week to launch a NBA D-League team in College Park.
While the other Atlanta professional sports teams have a head start, United is trying to close that gap quickly. They have the manager with the best pedigree in Tata Martino. They are second only to the Falcons in terms of season tickets sold. While the mainstream media has been a challenge in terms of exposure, we will see if that changes once TV/radio deals are locked down and games begin to be played.
Even if a team does everything right, it does not guarantee a championship. That’s the beauty and curse of sports. However, Atlanta will have a new team in United that is dedicating itself to doing everything necessary to bring the city a championship. Which Atlanta team will win a championship next?
Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones puzzled by USMNT tactics (Stars and Stripes FC)
Klinsmann sure that Clint Dempsey will return (Sounder at Heart)
What’s next for Robbie Keane (The42)
Columbus will see a roster makeover this winter (Soccer America)
FC Cincinnati growing in international stature (USL)
Roundup of potential expansion across all professional leagues in the U.S. (Midfield Press)
FOX will carry the next two Gold Cup tournaments (World Soccer Talk)
Why is Canada falling behind in men’s soccer? (Waking the Red)
Is Leipzig a real contender for the Bundesliga crown? (FourFourTwo)
Mercer headed to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Southern Conference championship (Dirty South Soccer)
Georgia State hosts Coastal Carolina in the @SunBelt Championship on Sunday with a berth in the NCAA tournament on the line #PantherFamily pic.twitter.com/HaYMoXw7Mq— GSUMensSoccer (@GSUMensSoccer) November 12, 2016
Georgia Gwinnett heading to the NAIA tournament after winning their conference title:
So proud of @GGC_MSoccer as we make it 3 @AII_Sports titles in 4 years. Have loved every minute with this group, now to the #NAIA tourney. pic.twitter.com/XoUAmU07St— Steve DeCou (@CoachDeCou) November 13, 2016