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The Daily Dirt, February 25: Finale

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Preseason ends tonight

Dave Williamson Photography

Tonight, Atlanta United will complete its first preseason with their final match in the Carolina Challenge Cup against the host Charleston Battery. How would you grade the preseason campaign?

The first game in Chattanooga will be remembered for the spectacle as opposed to the competition. A huge number of United fans made the trek to Finley Stadium to see their club's debut. Andrew Carleton's first goal, and subsequent celebration with the fans, will be the lasting memory.

The Carolina Challenge Cup has seen its ups and downs for the Five Stripes. The first match against Columbus saw a team struggling with fitness and the quality in attack of the Crew. United often appeared to be on its heels. It jumped out on the front foot against Seattle in the second game and the pressing, suffocating style that fans have expected was on full display.

Tonight, it is expected that the squad will see a fair bit of rotation so all rostered players can see some time in the tournament. It will be a chance to develop the depth chart, but one wonders if the starting group has become fully cohesive.

The games start for real next weekend. Do you think the preseason has prepared the team for the challenges of MLS?


Domestic

The learning curve for expansion teams and how it relates to Minnesota United (Pioneer Press)

More on Toronto FC’s feelings on the proposed Canadian Premier League (Waking the Red)

Youth soccer in Pittsburgh is getting complicated with the Columbus Crew’s academy increasing their presence (Pittsburgh Soccer Report)

Which MLS team had the best offseason? (MLS)

International

Turner Sports acquires the TV rights to the UEFA Champions League (SI)

Everything that led to Claudio Ranieri getting sacked (Daily Mail)

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Local

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