Posts Tagged ‘ Atlanta United ’

Soccer Trips 2017

2017 promises to be another great year for American soccer, and this year is particularly special because Atlanta United kicks off their first ever MLS campaign. But soccer happens all over this country at all levels and my goal each year is touch base at each level.

This year began with Atlanta United friendlies. First up was the quick drive up to Chattanooga for the game against Chattanooga FC. The Chattahooligans were great hosts, providing space at First Tennessee Pavilion and a huge breakfast buffet spread. Besides getting to meet fans from Atlanta and Chattanooga, I ran into Dennis Crowley, founder of Kingston Stockade FC of the NPSL. He came in from New York to check out the scene and we had a quick chat. Read my recap for Terminus Legion.

The following weekend was the opening match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Atlanta United fans descended on Charleston to watch the Five Stripes face off against Columbus Crew SC. All four Atlanta United Supporter Groups did a shared tailgate, which was awesome. Returning to Charleston was great as well as the housing at Camp Cheek.  Read my recap for Terminus Legion and listen to my interviews with Atlanta United fans on the Terminus Legion podcast.

I went to the first ever Atlanta United game. The club kicked off at Bobby Dodd Stadium and it was awesome evening. Tailgate, march, tifo, great match. As a season ticket holder, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Here’s the Terminus Legion podcast from the tailgate.

 

Here is my proposed schedule for the rest of 2017.

  • May 31 Savannah Clovers at Georgia Revolution. NPSL
  • July 3 Nashville Soccer Club at Peachtree City MOBA. PDL
  • August 6 Atlanta United at Sporting Kansas City. MLS
  • September 15 Bethlehem Steel FC at Louisville City FC. USL
  • September 16 New York Red Bulls II at Cincinnati FC. USL

Here are some of my previous trips.

You want to join me on a road trip? Comment below or hit me up on twitter @austinlong1974.

And check out Steven Bernasconi’s project, The Soccer Tour. He has put together an amazing 2017 and can’t wait to learn more about his adventures.

Scarf Collection

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I’ve become a groundhopper, not to the extent of Paul Gerald or Peter Miles or Tony Incenzo, but I take pics, talk to people and write posts about teams, supporters and venues in the United States. But what about swag? As a big kit nerd, the obvious choice would be to get a shirt at each match, but that strategy has a couple of problems: 1) not every team has a merch store or even jerseys for sale; 2) at $55 to $100 a pop, a one stop/one shirt policy could get pricey; and 3) where would I put them all? I don’t have a mancave (yet) and as much as I would love to wear a different jersey every day, society and my workplace frown upon that.

So my solution has been to pick up a scarf at each game I attend. This strategy has paid off in several ways. Scarves are almost always available at games, and if not, readily available on club websites. Plus at $25 to $35 each, this is the better option financially. On top of that, scarves are packable and easy to display.

Here is my current collection:

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Favorite Teams

Manchester United–The club team I have been supporting for 20 years. One day I will make it to Old Trafford. C’mon you Reds!!

US Soccer–I have seen several US games over the years , and I continuing to engage my own country instead of wishing I was Croatian or Dutch or almost anything else.

Atlanta United–MLS club kicking off in 2017. I’m a season ticket holder and can’t wait for the team to launch and play their first game at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

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Groundhops

Seattle Sounders–One of my first trips and had an awesome time.

Chicago Fire–Used to watch them at Soldier Field. Saw the new home out in the middle of nowhere.

Portland TimbersStood with Timbers Army in a very unique environment.

Columbus CrewSaw one of the first games at this Soccer Specific Stadium and have been several times since.

FC DallasAnother facility out in the middle of nowhere but Dallas Beer Guardians more than made up for it.

DC UnitedGot to see DC United at RFK before they move to the new ground.

Houston DynamoAmazing venue and hopefully the team returns it past glory.

Atlanta Silverbacks–Former NASL team playing in NPSL, I have been to many games and worked for the Reserves team.

Charleston Battery–Fantastic USL team with great supporters playing an intimate venue filled with soccer memorabilia.

Lansing United–The club launched the summer before I left Lansing and is doing things right on and off the pitch.

Detroit City FC–My first taste of real supporter culture. It has been wonderful keeping an eye on this team from the first days.

Nashville FC–Vanderbilt Stadium wasn’t the greatest venue but wonderful fans.

Chattanooga FC–Love going up to Chattanooga. Real passion behind a successful NPSL club.

Birmingham Hammers–Met some fired up supporters for the Hammers’ first season. Looking forward to going back.

Georgia Revolution–Under new ownership, this club is providing players a stepping stone to next level.

Knoxville Force (Scruffy City Syndicate)–Growing club with ardent supporters, playing right in downtown Knoxville.

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Miscellaneous

Juventus–Fell in love with Alessandro Del Piero and followed the bianconeri until I decided to focus my soccer supporting efforts.

MSU Spartans–Went to many a game at DeMartin Stadium during my time in Lansing.

World Cup 2022–My wife won this in a raffle. It’s the scarf from the US 2022 World Cup bid.

American Outlaws Atlanta. I love hanging out with these passionate supporters of US Soccer.

Terminus Legion 2015–Joined this Supporter Group at the intersection of Atlanta and Soccer in 2015 after moving to Atlanta in 2014.

Terminus Legion 2016–Re-upped and run the soccer team and host the Terminus Legion podcast.

The General–Special edition summer scarf produced by Terminus Legion to celebrate the history of Atlanta.

Soccer in the Streets–An amazing organization that brings soccer to underserved youth in Atlanta. Just launched Station Soccer, a pitch on top of a transit station.

Castleberry Hill AC–An organization looking to use soccer to improve their community. Currently trying to build Old Trenholm in the shadow of Mercedes Benz Stadium.

 

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Top three scarves I have come across. . .

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I usually buy the team scarf at each match but when I was at the Chicago Fire tailgate, I saw people walking around this scarf and knew that I had to have it. The scarf tweaks the Chicago city flag, using navy blue bands to frame the edges instead of the sky blue and then uses the four red stars through the middle. Great looking piece.

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While standing with Timbers Army, I spotted a Battlestar Portlandia. Having just come out of my Battlestar Galactica geek phase, I really loved the merging of pop culture and sport. Doubt I will ever get my hands but one of these but a really slick design.

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A scarf from Detroit City FC’s inaugural season is one of my favorite scarves. All the design elements come together, with of color scheme of rouge and dark yellow, a clean font and the argyle print adding a wonderful touch. DCFC has absolutely crushed it from a brand and merch perspective from day one.

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If you want to see a real scarf collection, visit Kenny’s Football Scarves. He has over 2000 pieces organized by league and region.

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Read more about my groundhops and supporter group interactions at the SoccerNomad blog. Also check out the SoccerNomad podcast, which focuses on Supporter Groups and kit design. Finally follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

Guest Post: JR Francis on Atlanta United 2017 Home Kit

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It’s… fine.

The best assessment I’ve heard of the kit goes like this, “Its exactly what you thought it was going to be.” In many ways, this is a good thing, but when it comes right down to it, there is simply nothing, design-wise, to get excited about.

It is thrilling to HAVE a kit now. A coach, many players, a world-class training facility and a soccer specific stadium on its way for the coming season. These are all things for the fans to celebrate and get excited about. The team we have all been waiting for is coming, and with each passing landmark, actual games are creeping closer and closer.

We are incredibly lucky that the team was able to partner with a company that allowed their logo to be rendered in gold. So many teams around the world have their kits ruined by a terrible sponsor logo, a clashing color, or by having to sport a pyramid scheme across their chest. We have a respectable company, with heartfelt commercials. They have a simple, clean, horizontal version of their logo, and it’s in beautiful gold across the front. Three cheers to American Family for being a great partner.shirt

But overall, it’s a vertical striped kit.

My complaints are really just nitpicks and some are even more about Adidas templates than this particular design. It’s a red shirt. Bah. I’m in the camp for minimizing red, and using it as a pin stripe or highlight. Think how Philly uses baby blue. I was really hoping for a black base with red stripes, as this would provide the richness and severity of aggression. Red is an entirely overused color in sport to the point of being cheap. The collar is just a plain black ringer with a sewn V-neck treatment; no stripes, lines, no work-friendly golf collar.

The stripes, as one likely could have predicted, are simple. Thick black, thick red, clean edges, no pin stripes, no texture within the stripe, no design along the edges. I’m assuming we will get all of those additional features in future years, as they are required to update a jersey every year.

The plain red back is bad. It looks like two different shirts were sewn together, one striped, one plain. There have certainly been some awful back treatments on striped designs, but to not even try is a fail. The widest two black stripes could have been run down the back, leaving room for the numbers. The stripes could terminate above and continue below the number. Something. At least the back got a jock tag with the cool 2017 logo from one of the first t-shirt designs.

The Adidas stripes stopping at the sleeve hem is wonky. I would have preferred it having a gap for the MLS logo, and going all the way down the sleeve. The MLS logos and badge in their plastisized, textured style on the authentic are really nice and the only spot we’ve added much of any personality.

The jersey is fine. It looks nice. I will scream at the top of my lungs for the guys wearing it. But it certainly ain’t “lit” or “fire” or anything of the like. Its’ simple, clean, and good.

More than anything else, this jersey reminds me of how bad the name is and how much I despise red and black. We will never be the Oregon Ducks of MLS, we will never have a huge stylistic play, we will never be the boldest or most distinctive design in the store. It can certainly be argued that classic and plain are a good thing and we don’t want to look wild and crazy. But it certainly isn’t an option. And our name SO means absolutely nothing to anyone. In a city full of incredible history, we certainly cheaped out and picked a name with zero visualization.

Here is looking forward to seeing what the away brings. I’m hoping for zero white on it at all, like the majority of ATL UTD marketing. My fingers are crossed for a real collared shirt and LOTS of gold!

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JR is a frequent guest on the SoccerNomad podcast and you can follow him on twitter @paynomind.

Atlanta United 2017 Home Kit

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Atlanta United unveiled their 2017 home kit last night in a big celebration at the Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. Susannah Collins from MLS emceed the event, which included Arthur Blank, Darren Eales, Carlos Bocanegra, and Mayor Kasim Reed.

Recently I became a season ticket holder and an email hit my inbox last week about an upcoming event: the unveiling of Atlanta United’s inaugural home kit. This has been one of the most talked items about the team since the announcement. Once the logo and color scheme were released, fans and designers have been posting concept kits and discussing possible looks. I was honored to be part of the Design Football.com Atlanta United concept kit contest and fans from all over the world came up with some really great designs. On top of that, Dirty South Soccer has been accumulating designs and has made it a big topic on the Mouths of the South podcast.

The general consensus was that the shirt would be similar to the AC Milan home shirt and their iconic black and red vertical stripes. After that, speculation focused on all the permutations: thickness of the stripes, striped or solid sleeves, collar/no collar, solid or striped back, trim and accent color, and finally the placement of the trademarked three Adidas stripes.

Speaking of Adidas, ahead of Euro 2016, the company made a major design change, moving their three stripes from the shoulder to the torso. Adidas has a contract with MLS through 2017 and most of the kits released for the 2016 season incorporated this change, so I wondered. . . 1) where would the stripes be and b) what color would they be?unveil

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After a series of speeches and cheering, Tito Villlaba, Chris McCann and Andrew Carleton stepped forward in the new strip.

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I loved it. Five broad stripes with gold Adidas striping on the shoulders. I would have preferred the mark on the torso but I’m over it. Two things really grabbed me: the red sleeves and the crest. Most mock ups had striped or black sleeves. The red lightens the tone of the kit and this really works for me. The A, which is the focal point of the crest, has texture on the authentic shirt, created by a series of diagonal lines. Close up the logo really jumps out and this is a wonderful feature. Another feature of the authentic shirt is the cuff, which has Atlanta United on it. Something to keep in mind when deciding between authentic and replica.

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Finally, American Family Insurance altered their logo to gold to complement the shirt. Had they kept their standard branding, the shirt could have gone sideways very quickly.

For everything on the kit, check out these resources:

I pre-ordered my shirt ahead of the event. Didn’t even need to see it. This is the first shirt ever for the club so that in itself made it worth having. Plus I didn’t want to stand in line. (I admit I was jealous of those that wait in line and were able to walk out of the event with the shirt on.)

To wrap up, I asked some Atlanta United fans their thoughts and here’s what they had to say.

Heather McBrayer Cooke After some reflection, I think it’s fine. Not great, but fine. I’m never a fan of the broad vertical stripes but I do absolutely love the black shorts with the gold stripes. The detail on the back is a very nice touch as well. I honestly think the unveiling was so stinking dramatic that it set you up for a let down.

Robyn Saghini ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ it!

Jorge E. Alonso 200% on board. Absolutely love it. And it looks beautiful with our (Terminus Legion) scarf on it.

Cristoforo Romano Classy!

Justin Koehn Not too shabby. I like it untucked much more for some reason with the solid black shorts. Not a huge fan of the solid color back, but overall I’d say i’m happy with it.

Charles Phillips It’s exactly what we expected, but it’s executed perfectly. I like the broad bars as opposed to thinner stripes. I also think the red field on the back in place of stripes is going to look great with the number sets. The Inaugural Season flair on the back of the neck is a great touch that’ll make this particular shirt special. Part of me was hoping for the new Adidas style stripes down the torso, but the shoulder stripes work great too. I would’ve preferred some accents or design on the socks, but I can appreciate them going clean and elegant.

Kelly Carter Love it. Prices are fair and comparable to the league. Design was expected but desired. Sizing runs small for authentic per usual. I’m glad the AmFam logo isn’t bigger like other sponsors in the league. Yes, it does look quite similar to the MetroStars jersey, but that was bound to happen given the color scheme.

Jon Hicks Pretty damn cool. I concur with Charles the Adidas strips down the torso would have been awesome but I can live without it. The inaugural season on the back is killer. 

Matheus Gonçalves Some might say the kit is kind of too basic, or that Atlanta United stayed in the comfort zone and haven’t been innovative or creative enough. I understand the point but we’re not talking about Apple, Microsoft, Google that needs to innovate and be disruptive or, you know… this is a soccer team kit. Maybe, for the future, or for the 3rd kit we could have some fading lines down the torso, or some different design but still the Atlanta United kit is classy, It’s sharp, the golden and black stripes are solid and the kit is awesome, I love it.

Andy Hollums I love it! Executed perfectly. And in really glad they went solid on back. The only thing I don’t like about Montreal’s shirt is that they have short stripes at the bottom on back. I’m really glad we didn’t do that.

Charlie Flint I think it’s safe and relatively what everyone expected – but a great design and looks good!

Jen Pahl I really like it. It is sharp and we will stand out on the pitch.

 

Let me know your thoughts below. You can follow me on twitter @austinlong1974 and make sure to check out the rest of the SoccerNomad blog. Also check out the SoccerNomad podcast on podomatic or on iTunes, just search SoccerNomad. I appreciate all feedback, so please leave a rating and review.

Castleberry Hill AC

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Castleberry Hill AC

Wynn Pennington, President of the Castleberry Hill Athletic Club, came on the SoccerNomad podcast to talk about their efforts in downtown Atlanta. They are currently in the process of developing a multi use field on Trenholm Street as well as other community efforts.

Find out more about them

Website

Facebook

Twitter and Instagram: @CastleberryAc

Email: castleberryhill.ac@gmail.com

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Thanks for listening! You can also subscribe via iTunes and please leave a rating and review. Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

Atlanta Supporter Groups

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I’ve been in Atlanta for over two years and have run into tons of passionate and knowledgeable soccer fans, many of whom have formed official and unofficial supporters groups for their favorite clubs. I started jotting down a list and was surprised how many teams were represented throughout the city. Below is what I’ve come up with so far. If I missed a group or got something wrong, let me know.

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English Premier League
Team Nickname Twitter Facebook Bar
Arsenal (Official) ATL Gooners @ATLGooners Facebook Brewhouse
Chelsea (Official) ATL Blues @ATLBlues  Facebook Hudson FC
Chelsea GA Blues @georgia_blues Facebook Ri Ra
Crystal Palace Crystal Palace ATL @CPFC_ATL Facebook Fado Midtown
Everton (Official) ATL Evertonians @atlevertonians Facebook Fado Buckhead
Leicester Atlanta Foxes @LCFCAtlanta Facebook Brewhouse
Liverpool (Official) LFC ATL @LFCAtlanta Facebook Meehans Downtown
Manchester City ATL Cityzens @MCATLCityzens Facebook Brewhouse
Man Utd (Official) ATL MUFC @atlmufc Facebook Fado Midtown
Man Utd (Unofficial) MUFC ATL (Brew Crew) @ManUtdScAtl  Facebook Brewhouse
Swansea Atlanta Jacks @Atlanta_Jacks Facebook Meehans Vinings
Tottenham (Official) ATL Spurs @ATLSpurs Facebook Meehans Atlantic Station
West Ham (Official) Atlanta Ironworks @IronsAtlanta Facebook Brewhouse
Europe
Team Nickname Twitter Facebook Bar
Bayern Munich (Official) Mia San ATL @miasanatl  Facebook Der Biergarten
FC Barcelona FC Barcelona Atlanta @barca_atl Facebook Fado Buckhead
Real Madrid (Official) Madridistas ATL @MadridistasATL Facebook Olde Blind Dog
South America
Supporter Group Twitter Facebook Bar
Corinthians Fiel Torcida USA @FielAtlanta Facebook
Atlanta United FC
Supporter Group Twitter Website
Footie Mob @FootieMob Website Midway
Resurgence @ResurgenceATL Website Brewhouse
Terminus Legion @TerminusLegion Website Fado Buckhead
Faction @TheFactionATL Website Fado Midtown
Atlanta Silverbacks
Supporter Group Twitter Facebook Bar
Westside 109 ATLWestside109 Facebook
Atlanta Ultras AtlantaUltras Facebook
Georgia Revolution
Supporter Group Twitter Facebook Bar
The Uprising @TheUprisingRevs Facebook
United States National Teams
Supporter Group Twitter Facebook Bar
America Outlaws ATL @atlantaoutlaws Facebook RiRa

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Top Ten Posts of 2015

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2015 was another great year for the SoccerNomad blog.  Visitors from all over the world read about kits, memories and more.  Here are the ten most read posts from 2015. Thanks to everyone for visiting, sharing and commenting on the blog and it’s on to 2016.

10   Nigeria Home 2002-2004

9     Summer 2015–Chattanooga FC v Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves

8     MatchDay Memory–History of ATL Soccer

7     EPL Kit Preview 15/16

6     Solutions

5     Strip Club–Half and Half Edition (FC Barcelona Home 97/98)

4     Not Inverting the Pyramid

3     A Call to Action

2     Summer 2015–NPSL Final

1     Atlanta United Supporter Experience

 

Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974 and don’t forget to listen to the SoccerNomad podcast or subscribe via iTunes.