It’s rivalry weekend in MLS. Yes, this is a marketing exercise, but it is one that has worked in all sports to draw attention to a slate of games. The NHL has used it successfully for their NBCSN broadcasts. MLS is no exception with the decision to highlight Portland vs. Seattle on national TV on ESPN this Sunday.
Other big rivalry matches to watch this weekend are RSL vs. Colorado, Toronto vs. Montreal, and Houston vs. Dallas. These teams legitimately do not like each other and it makes for an entertaining affair. There are big implications on the standings in each of these as well.
This brings me to a question I’ve had for a while now, who will Atlanta’s big rivals be next season? Before you say everyone, let’s dig into this...
Orlando is probably the most obvious one due to proximity and some animosity already there between the supporters. There are some other legitimate possibilities as well.
Minnesota will always be linked to Atlanta since they are coming into the league together. They will always be a point of comparison and a measuring stick for success. There is also the whole name thing, which proved to be much ado about nothing, but was still a thing nonetheless.
DC United is another possibility, both for the United name and the red and black color scheme. I was surprised at the level of anger from DC fans towards Atlanta over the colors and name combination.
We’ve talked about why other team’s fans would hate Atlanta United. Will Orlando, Minnesota, and DC all be rivals for Atlanta from the jump next year? Is there another team that will have some extra spice in their matches with Atlanta?
Let us know what you think in the comments. Who will Atlanta United’s rivals be and why?
Carlos Bocanegra’s transition as the Atlanta United technical director (Yahoo)
A discussion of potential candidates for the Atlanta coaching search (MLS)
Great look at FC Dallas’ philosophy and their growing need to win some trophies (Sports Illustrated)
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The importance of MLS teams being involved in their communities (The Mane Land)
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Chicago Red Stars GM steps down (Hot Time in Old Town)
Hope Solo unlikely to play for Seattle against Portland in NWSL action (Seattle Times)
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