This is the last game at Bobby Dodd stadium, and as I mentioned on Thursday, the last Atlanta match I’ll watch as an Atlanta resident. I’m sad to be moving but part of me is glad. If I have to sit through one more unending traffic jam on a weekend morning I’m going to end up being the subject of a World Star video. So, with that in mind I really want Atlanta United to beat Orlando City so I can move to the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania with a smile on my face.
I noticed that Orlando City didn’t put up a billboard in Atlanta this week. Of course the crybaby-sad-pants-totally-authentic-because-they-swear-and-throw-smoke-grenades-and-wear-scary-gas-station-skeleton-bandannas-Orlando supporters embraced their inner middle schooler and tore ours down, but it didn’t matter. Atlanta United said they would conquer in the Theme Park City and certainly did.
It could be that Orlando knew that unless the billboard said, “we have two wins in the last three months, please be gentile” or “we used to be playoff contenders” their play wouldn’t rise to the occasion, but this is a team that spent the last two years not making the playoffs so it stands to reason they wouldn’t find that necessary as just playing them is advertisement enough for their futility on the field and off of it.
City did make a big addition this week. They sent a bunch of fake money to Sporting Kansas City for a striker who has scored five goals this season. Dom Dwyer will take some time to fit in with Jason Kries’ tactics, which so far this year have been to play really well for two months and then take the rest of the season off, but that didn’t stop the fans in OCSC from celebrating the arrival of their newest player by meeting him at the Orlando airport. Clearly, standing around for hours on end for a cheap and short thrill is something that is a part of the culture in Orlando, but the team’s supporters turned Dwyer’s arrival into a celebration.
The airport is a funny place to do something enjoyable but Dwyer stepping off of the airplane was the best footwork that a City player has displayed in months. Plus, despite the airport being a place most people hope to spend as little time as possible in, OCSC hasn’t given fans much of anything to celebrate in its stadium so perhaps a change of venue was needed so that supporters could see a favorable result one time before the season ends. Shockingly, nobody pulled a fire alarm causing a national security incident.
All of this is to say that I hope Atlanta United hangs a bunch of goals on Orlando and continues to inch up the Eastern Conference standings.