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The Unpredictability of MLS

It’s more than a cliche.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Minnesota United FC Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Just two matches into their first season and Atlanta United supporters have seen just how unpredictable Major League Soccer can be. As cliche as it sounds, from week-to-week anything is possible in this league, any team can beat any team no matter the situation. United found this out in their first two matches.

The club’s first taste of this wild and wacky league came in the form of their home debut, in front of 55,000 of their supporters, playing against a team who has played literally all the way across the country less than three days before. The odds were squarely in Atlanta’s favor and they managed to let the Red Bulls come back late and spoil the night.

All week leading up to the second match in Minnesota the narrative revolved around the expected weather forecast. How would a bunch of South American players be able to cope with the wintery conditions in front of 35,000 Loons supporters? What happened? Atlanta completely outclassed them on the day and picked up their first win in the league.

While it sounds like a corny slogan on the end of a Popsicle stick, anything is possible in MLS on a weekly basis. Whether your team is playing the MLS Cup champions in front of 50,000 opposing fans or playing the worst team in your home stadium, any result is possible.

Browsing around various Atlanta United social media groups during the week you see random questions or statements to the tune of “we should beat xxx” and you can’t help but laugh. These two matches are all the proof you need to not expect anything. Every match is winnable and also a potential slipping area on the schedule. Sometimes it’s an infuriating aspect of MLS that the gap between teams is so low, but it makes for exciting matches nearly every week.

tl;dr version: Sit back, relax and enjoy every match without expecting to win, lose or draw.