My fellow Atlanta United fans, the state of the team is strong. Less than one year has passed since Atlanta United first stood on the field, in majestic Bobby Dodd Stadium, to break MLS and play for the Hype Depot and to address their concerns, their hopes and their dreams.
That night, our new team had already signed very swift players. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land. Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission, to make the Five Stripes great for all Atlantans.
Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary Barcos. We have lost to DC United as we expected and others we could have never imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory against Orlando and the pains of losing to Columbus. We have endured losing to Vancouver and NYCFC and Chicago. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of Atlanta’s soul and the yerba mate in Tata’s gourd.
I re-wrote the State of the Union address to be about Atlanta United. It took me three hours to transcribe this (it didn’t), I hope you liked it. Hey, some of that is even true.
Anyway, onto the Dirt.
I’d like to congratulate Liga MX on winning the first 100 consecutive North American Champions matches. This is a cool idea though, it will be interesting to see if the teams treat it like a glorified friendly or actually put out a best 11. If MLS and LigaMX are going to do this though, they should do it right and make it an event rather than a friendly that is haphazardly scheduled on some Wednesday night in the fall.
Not that you would ever want to leave, but some have reported an issue getting out of MBS, looks like that might be addressed:
City Football Group keeps buying its own players. Jack Harrison is a real success story for MLS though, this is a good move for the league and shows that the college-MLS-playing abroad pipeline is an active and promising way for players to make a career in soccer.
Tiotalfootball is not only a math and MLS roster genius, he also basically predicted that FC Dallas would turn the allocation spot they got when the traded Walker Zimmerman to LAFC for $500,000 in allocation money into another pile of allocation money - this time OCSC traded them $400,000 in Garber bucks for the spot. I broke out my TI-83 from high school and found out that it adds up to $900,000 in allocation money - for Walker Zimmerman, a player who gave up a PK to mighty Bosnia-Herzegovina in the friendly on Sunday night.
As part of Hope Solo’s platform to become USSF president she’s.... “filed a formal complaint under Section 220527 of the Stevens Act with the USOC” against the organization she wants to run... Bold strategy.
Orlando City has issued the following statement in regards to the Cyle Larin transfer:
“After they completely punked us by telling our player they would sign him - even though he was under contract - and we couldn’t do anything about it because nobody respects OCSC or MLS, Beşiktaş J.K. has agreed with Orlando City SC on terms for the transfer of forward Cyle Larin to the Turkish side for a fair price.
Although the Club understands that nobody in their right mind wants to live in Orlando much less play for this franchise, a decision was taken to guarantee compensation with the Club’s future in mind which we will fritter away incompetently.
The Club looks forward to focusing on the upcoming season with players who will re-dedicate themselves to getting kicked out of amusement parks, failing to make the playoffs, getting in trouble with the police, and otherwise represent our fanbase of Sons of Anarchy wannabees who embarrass our community to lead us through 2018 and beyond.”
(The real statement can be found here and the first sentence is the best thing that Orlando City has ever produced).
Finally, Doug Roberson of the AJC has a great profile of Atlanta United draftee Gordon Wild whose parents were circus performers.
I told y’all to watch Swansea vs Arsenal:
SPI gave last-place Swansea City an 11% chance to beat Liverpool last Monday, and a 15% to beat Arsenal today.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) January 30, 2018
That equals a 1.65% chance to win both games. #UpTheSwans
The Gunners celebrated the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by promptly losing 3-1 to Swansea City.
An amateur soccer player is being paid in fake money, signing the first ever contract paid in cryptocurrency.
Newcastle has a new player, he’s a movie buff apparently.
This is delightfully weird from SBN Soccer writer Nate Scott. He discusses his admiration for Dimitar Berbatov’s first touch and deep seeded desire for soccer to be beautiful. As a romantic who would rather lose trying to play beautiful soccer than win by being DC United (who doesn't even win often) this spoke to me.
Twitter is bad
Gonna have to delete my account now
A goal to start your day
Take a bow, Thomas Meunier!— Goal (@goal) January 30, 2018
The defender has put PSG in front against Rennes with an absolute stunner. pic.twitter.com/K3xo9h6FqM
You should listen to
Everything by Sufjan Stevens ever, but especially this today: