Thursday was a sad day in the world of American soccer as long-time ESPN soccer writer Doug McIntyre announced he was a victim of the company’s widespread layoffs. The way he announced it was bittersweet, especially for Atlanta United fans as it contained one last piece about their team.
After 13 wonderful years at ESPN, I’m proud that this feature on @ATLUTD wound up being my final piece: https://t.co/JOpL8Jcvyq— Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN) April 27, 2017
Make sure you read his full article as it is a fantastic piece and a very in-depth look at the club. One particular part that was interesting was the way club President Darren Eales described the team’s supporters at matches. The popular belief among many, including him, was that it would be a learning process for Atlanta United fans to get on the same page and acquire the knowledge other more experienced fan bases around the world have. However, Eales says that was not the case at all.
"One, just about every man, woman and child had Atlanta United gear on. The other thing was, they stood up the whole game. The sort of electricity, energy and knowledge of the game far surpassed what I expected. I thought there would be a learning curve for the fans. As an expansion team, I thought it would take a lot more time for people to almost learn about cheering us on. But on day one, it felt like you could've dropped into that stadium and someone who didn't know better would have thought this team had been around for 30 years." — Darren Eales; Source: ESPNFC
While having sellout crowds is awesome. The bigger accomplishment is that the supporters have been able to turn those numbers into an actual intimidating environment for opposing teams. Not only that, but their boisterous showings have helped prepare the team for other hostile venues in MLS like Seattle as Greg Garza revealed.