With Atlanta United winning their first MLS Cup with one of the best seasons the MLS has ever seen, it’s safe to say a dynasty is in the making. Whether you like them or not, it’s tough to argue that Atlanta isn’t the best team in Major League Soccer. In only their second season they have done what some teams haven’t been able to do since the inaugural season of the league (Sorry Dallas, New York, and New England).
Atlanta United came into the MLS with one goal in mind: bring the Latin American flair to the MLS. With five Latin Americans in their starting lineup week in and week out and another three on the bench, they have accomplished exactly that. Being able to make strong connections with many Latin American clubs is extremely good for Atlanta’s future and it’s even better for the MLS as a whole. Assimilating a Latin American fanbase into the MLS creates a new and much-needed atmosphere that has led to many successful leagues in Latin America. Along with the Latino push, Atlanta has established a good academy system. They have already brought in five academy products to the first team. With players such as George Bello playing three games and knocking in one goal and Andrew Carleton playing seven games with one assist, it is clear that Atlanta’s system is functioning properly.
It is important to understand that Atlanta United has only just begun. In 2016-17, they dished out money for big-name players like Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron who would turn out to be one of the best duos in MLS. Atlanta opted to build a young promising roster with their starting-11’s average age being 27.5 years. Their back four and goalkeeper have an average age of 31.2 years while the remaining 6 players are at the ripe age of 24.5 years. With Atlanta continuing to add young South Americans, it’ll only be a matter of time before their back line is as young as the frontal flair. Atlanta United is not only built to win but to win for the next few years with such a young and talented roster.
Image Source: Todd Kirkland / Associated Press