In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated’s MLS Ambition Rankings, Atlanta United claimed the top spot for 2018. In 2017’s rankings, Atlanta were named the 2nd most ambitious club in Major League Soccer, but after another successful and record breaking year, they’ve taken this year’s top spot.
After their debut season, which came to an end in heartbreaking fashion as they lost on penalties in the playoffs, Atlanta United regrouped and set out for a record-breaking second season. The club has helped establish Atlanta as arguably the soccer capital of the United States in 2018. Atlanta’s ambition ranking is made up of their launch of Atlanta United 2, the team’s USL branch, the completion of a $60 million training facility and the numerous attendance records they’ve already set in the past year.
Time and time again, Atlanta have set the bar for other MLS teams to follow and improve the quality of the league and the soccer culture around the United States.
In addition, Atlanta United also pushed the boundaries for spending in Major League Soccer, breaking the transfer record to bring in 19-year old Ezequiel Barco, for $15 million.
With the 2018 All Star game taking place in Atlanta, with Juventus coming to town, it’s clear that the city and it’s club are striving to improve the game and are leading the way for Major League Soccer teams to become more ambitious in their endeavors.
After an impressive start to their 2018 campaign, it’s clear that Atlanta United are aiming for an MLS Cup run in just their second season. While their on-field ambitions are clear, their impact on the state of soccer is unique and important for the future of the game.