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Who to Hate: Making the case for potential Atlanta United rivalries

Who will be Atlanta's nemesis come 2017?

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Orlando City

I was originally going to start with Minnesota United given the recent "United-gate" controversy. However, given the latest ILF scarf incident, how the hell can I NOT start with OCSC.

Check out Rob Usry's article on how the placement (intentional placement if you're an ILF memeber) of an Atlanta United scarf sparked major hate towards AUFC. Long story short, AUFC front office placed an AUFC scarf directly over an ILF scarf on the Sporting Kansas City Wall of Scarves.

Who are the ILF you ask? The Iron Lion Firm, regarded by some as the least favored SG. So while it may not be the entirety of OCSC fans that are truly upset at this, the loudest SG in terms of off-the-field incidents may regard us as their hated rival moving forward.

It should be noted that ILF has a history of vandalizing other SGs. In the Carolina Challenge Cup last year, Terminus Legion were forced to call the police after merchandise, flags and other tailgating materials were destroyed. NYCFC SGs told TL that ILF were the culprits. Later, a TL banner was found inside the ILF bus.

Additionally, there’s obviously the natural proximity that allows for Atlanta United to pair up with Orlando City as rivals. Many in the Southeast have already assimilated themselves with Orlando City for that very reason. And while this is a soccer blog, failing to recognize the traditional hate between states when it comes to their football teams would be a mistake. It may not directly add to the rivalry, but it will most certainly play a role subconsciously.

AUFC also nabbed OCSC’s former senior vice president of soccer operations, Paul McDonough. He managed operations for the first team and development academy programs, developed and implemented the club’s scouting network and managed player contract negotiations. Needless to say, he was a man very much entrenched within the inner workings of OCSC. I don’t know that this necessarily fuels a future rivalry, but it may hurt the OCSC fan to think that one of their former honchos is now with a new team in the same conference.

Minnesota United

I believe this has already been well cataloged throughout the past few months. "United-gate" has turned Minnesota United fans from the loving, peaceful people they are, into ravenous, AUFC hate-mongers. MNUFC (find a different acronym) supporters believe Atlanta United, specifically Arthur Blank, used ‘influence’ to force the NASL team to change its’ name before entering MLS in 2017.

The complaint is rumored to be that two ‘Uniteds’ entering the league at the same time (and possibly a third with Miami) isn’t a good look for MLS. Minnesota natives argue that the team would be uniting the two cities from which the club is drawing supporters. I would argue that AUFC is uniting the entire Southeast, much like the Braves have done in Atlanta. Regardless, MNUFC bitterness flowing AUFC's direction will instigate creative tifos come 2017.

Let us also remember that Minnesota already has a few axes to grind with Atlanta as it is. First, Michael Vick absolutely humiliated the Minnesota Vikings on a run that saw the QB split two defenders, causing them to bounce off of each other for one of the greatest QB runs in NFL history.

You also can't forget the Gary Anderson missed field goal in overtime against the Atlanta Falcons that would've sent the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl. That was Gary Anderson's only miss that year.

Atlanta was beat by the Twins in the 1991 World Series, one of the greatest series of all time, with five of the seven games decided by one run, and four games being won in walk-off fashion. It's as if fate wants Atlanta and Minnesota to be soccer rivals. Hopefully, destiny favors the city of Atlanta over Minnesota.

Columbus Crew SC

Crew SC supporters seem to enjoy banging on the early AUFC fans. It’s nothing crazy, but one fan won twitter after sending out the General Sherman tweet the day Atlanta United was officially welcomed into the league.

Some Crew fans have even lashed out for not having a real team yet. Of course, this was after giving them a good ribbing regarding their AMAZING new kits. When you've just lost MLS Cup to The Hipsters and dropped the opening game to the same team adorned in a NSFW description of a kit, I can understand why Crew supporters would be a bit ornery.

New York Red Bull

Believe it or not, there is a strong contingent who aren't happy about AUFC utilizing the red and black stripes. For those who don't know, the New York Red Bulls used to be named the Metro Stars and sported the black and red stripes back in the day.

Admittedly, a rivalry with RBNY has about a half percent chance of actually being a thing, but you never know what a future tifo referencing the stripes could turn into.

Honorable Mentions

DC United - I mean, I could go into this, but it basically just revolves around the "United" thing.

Philadelphia Union - Because no one like's a guy from Philly.

Miami - Chances are they'll end up being a "United" too. So let's just throw them into the mix.

Portland Timbers - Atlanta United may be more hipster than Portland. Well, we may like to think so at least.

LA Galaxy - Because the Real Housewives of LA is worse than the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Yes, the argument is that Real Housewives of Atlanta is a...less bad show.