Atlanta United supporters have waited a long time. Finally, we can now plan our 2017 around the inaugural schedule.
The away fixtures are cool, but was I the only one that checked the home fixtures before anything else in regards to the schedule? Perhaps it’s just the season ticket holder in me, but what I hoped for more than anything were home fixtures against interesting opponents. By golly, we’re certainly in store for quite a few of those. Let’s take a look at the five home matches Atlanta United supporters should be most excited about.
NEW YORK RED BULLS: MARCH 5th, 7:00 p.m.
Obviously, the first home match in the history of Atlanta United FC is a big deal. Forget about the fact Atlanta is pit against a quality club with well-known names like Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty for a second. Think about how glorious this day is going to be, regardless of what happens on the field.
Atlanta United fans are going to wake up on March 5th knowing that a match three years in the making has finally arrived. The atmosphere at Bobby Dodd Stadium is going to be festive, the supporters will be cheering on the team in a competitive environemnt for the very first time and Georgia on my Mind will be bellowed throughout the entire crowd. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t get my hopes up for that last one, but it needs to happen.
March 5th is going to be an incredible day in the wonderful city of Atlanta.
NEW YORK CITY FC: MAY 28th, 5:00 p.m.
In 2017, NYCFC will look to build on last year’s successful regular season and redeem themselves from a disappointing appearance in the 2016 playoffs. A club with high expectations and players like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Jack Harrison and former Atlanta United goalkeeper Sean Johnson(weird, but true), will be quite the draw.
ORLANDO CITY SC: JULY 30th, 4:30 p.m.
Atlanta United is a little spoiled the inaugural season. Not only will they have their first ever home match, but the July 30th fixture against Orlando City will be the first sporting event to ever take place inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Expect plenty of people to get there early and tour the world-class spaceship(er, stadium). Also, the concession lines are probably going to be a little long. Again, get there early.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY: AUGUST 19th, 4:00 p.m.
Love them or hate them, the Los Angeles Galaxy have been the flag-bearers for MLS the past decade. Whether it’s the big-name signings or the amount of MLS Cup wins in recent years, the Galaxy have made themselves into perhaps the most recognizable club in the league. All things considered, it looks like Atlanta United is on track to throw their name into that conversation within a few years. This will be an interesting match-up between the present and the future.
TORONTO FC: OCTOBER 22nd, 4:00 p.m.
Decision Day. This fixture will be interesting regardless of how Atlanta United fares in their inaugural season. If Atlanta is out of playoff contention by the final day of the regular season, it’ll be our last chance to see the the greatest club in the world play until 2018. However, if Atlanta is in the thick of the playoff race, this match could prove vital. Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley will look to lead their team to another Eastern Conference title.
What home matches are you most excited for?