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What the start of Atlanta United’s inaugural season means to the supporter groups

It’s finally here. We get the perspective of the supporters who’ve waited so long.

Dave Williamson Photography

We asked the four main supporter groups of Atlanta United one simple question: What does the start of Atlanta United’s inaugural season mean to them? It turns out, the answers to that question are anything but simple. Here’s what they had to say.

The Faction:

The start of Atlanta United's season means more than just March 5 to The Faction.

It signals a new beginning of soccer in Atlanta. MLS has been around for 20 years but we didn't pay it much attention because we didn't have a team to call our own. The English Premier League has been our go-to for watching and following each of our teams. Of the four founders, two are Manchester United fans and the other two Chelsea and Arsenal. The Faction members took a trip last year to England to see our teams play. While on the trip, we talked about Atlanta United...a lot. We came up with creative ideas that weren't typical of the English, German or French fans. We wanted something to call our own. We now had our own team and we were their fans.

The start of Atlanta United's first season is something that we're not only passionate about but our families are as well. Our kids went with us to Chattanooga, our spouses participate in Faction meetings, they let us go to Charleston, and we all watched the Charleston game together. Our kids, wives and friends are gathering to cheer on OUR team.

Growing up in the South, college football engulfed many communities with spirit and hope. When we talked about what our group would represent, that was a defining moment. We wanted our group to be a community, to be festive and to be inclusive. All while supporting our team with enthusiasm and drive.

This a new beginning for Atlanta. We are The Faction. Players, coaches, parents and passionate supporters of Atlanta United.

Footie Mob:

What the season means to us is kind of a big question. For the past three years, we've all been waiting on this moment. There's been the excitement of each step along the way. So on one hand the start of the season means the end of all that. March 6th is the morning we can get up and say "We did it." All the wondering what MLS in Atlanta would be like will for the most part be answered.

But then on the other hand, it's the start of more. It's about building behind a team, showing off our city, and building a culture.

Atlanta can appear to be a weird place to newcomers or outsiders, but the city makes sense if you think about like the remix of a song. It's about reinterpretation of the familiar into something new. Hopefully that applies to our soccer culture as well. Hopefully we do things differently to make things entirely new.

Everything the team has done is kind of in that spirit. It's taken the rules and complexities of MLS roster construction and talent acquisition in some new ways. Acquiring an academy early, signing Homegrown players, young DP’s and possibly most important, Tata. The team is reflecting the city and its ethos in some new ways.

Resurgence:

Resurgence started with about 10 people around a table at Brewhouse Café in Little Five Points in 2015. Some of us had known each other through American Outlaws or other Atlanta soccer circles, and some of us were meeting each other for the first time, but everyone there that day had a vision of the type of supporters group we wanted. From that very first meeting we had a good idea of who we wanted to be: We wanted the passion for our great city to be replicated in everything we put forth. Our approach was that of a diy/"punk-rock" attitude. We didn't want to create a brand as much as we wanted our members and attitudes to organically manifest it. When we created our logos, we wanted something simple and easily replicated so that anyone could use our marks, regardless of their personal finances. From the ground-up, we wanted to be about access and inclusiveness.

We put our thoughts and feelings into our club creed, and really just threw it out into the public. We were unsure of where we would go from there, but trusted that if we stuck by our core principals we'd attract the type of people we wanted to join. The growth that has come since has been like-minded soccer fans seeing what we focus on, and wanting to be a part of it. We wanted our passion for the game, the club, and the city to define us, and now we get to see our thoughts and ideas in action. Tomorrow we'll be in Bobby Dodd, standing together in the supporters section, alongside the other groups that have worked so hard to in preparation for this moment. Everyone in our group, from those 10 around the original table, to the newest member, will be there the with the same love for our club and for our city. For ninety minutes plus, all of our work will be on display for the country.

Terminus Legion:

The accumulation of blood, sweat, and tears is upon us. First kick for Atlanta United FC's inaugural season is so close that many of us can hardly believe that this is reality. We pinch ourselves to make sure. We sometimes pinch others just in case we are all engrossed in some huge interconnected dream. From MLS Wants Atlanta and the founding of Terminus Legion to the unveiling of Atlanta United FC, its name, crest, kits, players, etc. All of those steps were taken one at a time with the idea that someday we would reach the desired destination. Well, we can see the finish line. We are in the midst of the final dash. We have unleashed excitement and jubilation in spurts up until now but you have not seen anything yet. This is it! The time is now! We look back at the ups and downs and we can proudly say that it was all worth it. This city has a soccer team to unite us fanatics. We see the crest plastered all over the city now. We see people on the street in team gear. We recognize our members and consider them family. In those people, you will see the true reflection of what this means to us. Words can only do so much. It is more appropriately understood by gazing upon the Terminus Legion members. It is the gleam in our eyes. It is the shine of our smiles, the undeniable joy that pours out of each of us when the team is mentioned. Even a small thing, such as the team calling members to remind us of stadium rules, will bring about a grin. I'll say it again. This is it! The time is now! #FullSteamAhead

It’s time, Atlanta.