Posts Tagged ‘ Atlanta ’

Magic City Brigade

NOTE: I recorded a podcast with Collin Barnwell, Vice President of the Magic City Brigade, the Birmingham Hammers’ Supporters Group ahead of the Atlanta Silverbacks/Birmingham Hammers game at Silverbacks Park. The recording didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped so I transcribed it. Enjoy.

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Collin, thanks for joining me. Talk about the formation of the Birmingham Hammers.

MCB Founder Forrest Collins and Hammers Founder Morgan Copes

Photo via Magic City Brigade

The club was founded in 2013 by Morgan Copes and John Killian. They played a non league season in 2015 and then joined the NPSL in 2016. (There is a great appearance by John Killian on Flakoglost podcast)

How did last season go?

Last year we didn’t do that great, only won two games but it was our first season. We had some first year woes, and fired our coach after the season. We hired another coach Wulf Koch, who is an experienced collegiate coach and has done very well at the University of Auburn at Montgomery. We’ve got a very charismatic coach who has a great staff. This year it’s looking up.

So the team is formed and then Forrest gets involved and the Magic City Brigade come to be. Talk about that.

Forrest started it in his dorm room. He enjoyed watching the Supporter Groups of Portland and Orlando and Seattle and figured if Birmingham was going to have a team, why not have a Supporters Group like that or one that mimics that style and choreography.

I got into the party a little late so to speak. I came to the Hammers in late 2014/early 2015. When I heard about Forrest and the Magic City Brigade I started coming out and joining them at events. 

Just been a work in progress ever since. Started as a couple of guys who wanted to watch the game together and is now formed into group that goes to matches home and away. We are Hammers supporters and we enjoy football, that’s the biggest thing.

Touching on that, I came to the first official game for the Hammers when they played Chattanooga FC in Birmingham. I reached out to you guys and joined you at the tailgate. Nice big spot to tailgate, and although the Chattahooligans were there and much bigger, they have a several year head start, but you guys were there, had some pizzas and some food and some beer, just hanging out. It was great.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that you guys had a great tifo for the first game. It had a couple of stars and smokestacks from the ironworks. Talk about that and your inspirations.

The tifo was a rendition of what makes Birmingham iconic and that would be Sloss Furnaces and the iron industry at the turn of the century. It displayed the stacks of Sloss Furnace and the Birmingham city flag, which is a tri-color flag, red/white/red with a red star in the middle of it and the seal of Birmingham. It was our take on that, and we got our first tifo done and we wanted to make it about the city and not about us.

The Hammers play at Sicard Hollow. There is no rigging, there are no barriers, there are just bleachers, there is nothing to unfurl as it were. However the facility has a nice hill in one corner and you guys staked the tifo down and it was up for the whole game, which I think is better, and at halftime I was able to get some pictures.

We were talking earlier about in tifo in general. You guys have a lot of DIY flags that are hanging on the fences of the facility. Talk about tifo for a fourth division club. How do you execute that?

There’s teams to look up to in the fourth division from a creative and inspiration standpoint like Chattanooga and Detroit City. All of our tifos are homemade. We buy the fabric at supermarkets, wherever we can find it, we buy the paint at the supermarket. It’s very free hand, very do it ourselves, it looks crude, it looks rough, but that’s who we are. We’re new to this, we’re not trying to make a publication out of this. We’re just doing things our way and people seem to enjoy it.

Going back to the first game, the Chattahooligans had close to a hundred fans and you guys didn’t have as many. I did like that you were on the opposite end of the field, little give and take, and you guys just did your thing. Had a nice big drum, a couple of chants, very organized. I like your attitude: we’re new, we’re trying and we do what we can.

Photo via Magic City Brigade

That’s one of the biggest things. We are not here to please the front office, we are not here to please other people. I have had several conversations with the owner and they have told me to stop bugging them with questions/permission about this and that. Everything about our club is very grassroots and it’s very do it yourself.

My wife and I live about an hour and a half north east of Birmingham, so we are not close and can’t get 30 people together to paint a tifo, so all the tifos that are constructed at my house are done on the kitchen table or the parking lot our apartment complex. All the others are done a combination of driveways and parking lots. It’s very do it yourself, get some dirt on your knees and paint.

Talk about 2017 season for the Magic City Brigade. Do you guys plan to have watch parties.

Being that streaming has become more of a thing for lower division clubs, we’ll probably have some watch parties for some our away games.

One thing I talk about with lower division supporters is that you guys get to travel. For Atlanta United, I get to go to one game this season, but for the other 16 I’ll be at a bar or home or whatever. For NPSL, especially the Southeast Conference, it’s pretty doable if you really commit you can go to every game.

I know for me, my plan is to attend about 85% of the away matches, with two of them being a six hour drive from my apartment, so it’s not feasible. If I had more resources I would go to all the games. The format makes it ideal for travelling and they are close drives. It’s very regional. That’s what I like. If you’re willing to commit to those seven to eight hour drives, you can go to every match.

We’re planning on having someone at every game, whether it’s one person or it’s like today here in Atlanta, it’s seven to ten of us. We will have at least one member of the Brigade at each game and that speaks volumes to who we are in the fourth division.

Let’s talk about the 2017 season. Who is in your division?

Southeast Conference is split into two division–East and West. The Birmingham Hammers are in the West with Chattanooga FC, Inter Nashville FC, Memphis City FC and New Orleans Jesters.

I know you’ve started blogging, done a couple of previews. What can fans or neutrals look for from the Birmingham Hammers this season.

I run a completely fan oriented blog, https://bhamhammersblog.wordpress.com/ and it’s a 100% fan take on the experience, so it’s completely biased. We had one fan from another team who said that the blog was not an accurate reflection and I told him yeah.

This season we are in better form than last season. With a new coach and a new staff who are chomping at the bit to get started. We had one preseason match and in that match we played the Alabama ODP team and they were excellent. I don’t know how ODP teams are across the country but they were quality and we beat them 6-0. I don’t think that’s 100% comparable to the NPSL but this season I can see us making the playoffs. We have to win our home games and get some points and I think that’s doable.

Who are some players to watch out for?

Photo via Birmingham Hammers

Our keeper Bradley Louis. He’s been with us for three seasons.

Photo via Birmingham Hammers

We also have a new face, Jorge Delgado. He’s a forward who played at Mississippi College, and his career stats are impressive.

So expectations for the season? What would you be happy with?

I really don’t care what the record is. It’s bringing amateur soccer to Birmingham. I could see us winning every game but also I could see us dropping a couple.

How can readers find out more about Magic City Brigade and the blog.

We are on facebook and twitter (@MCBrigade14). You can find me on twitter (@BhamForeman) and the blog is https://bhamhammersblog.wordpress.com/.

I’ve been joined by Collin Barnwell from the Magic City Brigade and we have been tailgating before the Atlanta Silverbacks/Birmingham Hammers game. Collin, thanks for taking a couple of minutes to talk and have a great season.

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The Birmingham Hammers defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1.

Der Klassiker with Mia San Atlanta

Get the podcast here: Der Klassiker with Mia San Atlanta

Follow along with the show notes:

 

Atlanta based Bayern Munich Supporter Group Mia San Atlanta hosted Der Klassiker at Der Biergarten, with fans coming dressed in Bayern kits and lederhosen to support Die Roten. I caught up with Heather and Jon Cooke about Mia San Atlanta, their trip to Charlotte to see Bayern, their support of ATL Champions League and we even talked kits. This is a great group of fans and I hope you enjoy our conversation.

You can stay up to date with Mia San Atlanta on social media.

Read my SoccerNomad blog post on Bayern Munich home shirts.

First Bayern Munich kit

Bayern Munich kits through the years

14/15 Champions League shirt (Heather’s favorite)

2011-13 home shirt (My favorite)

16/17 Home, Away, Third shirts

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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.

ATL Gooners

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SoccerNomad podcast: ATL Gooners

Some of the Atlanta Gooners came on the SoccerNomad podcast to talk about the Supporters Group and the club. From the 2016 Summer Tour to Highbury to the classic Manchester United/Arsenal games of the late 90s/early 2000s to kits, we covered a lot of ground and had a great conversation.

Find out more about the group on their various platforms:

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Learn more about Arsenal Football Club from the following resources:

Books

  • Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
  • Invincible by Amy Lawrence
  • Addicted by Tony Adams

Blogs

SoccerNomad Blog posts on Arsenal

Arsenal America Supporter Groups

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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.

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.

shirt full-kit

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.

Liverpool v Manchester United

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SoccerNomad podcast: Liverpool v Manchester United

I joined supporters of Liverpool and Manchester United to watch the big game at Anfield. After meeting at Fado Midtown, home of the Atlanta Manchester United Supporters Club, we marched into Meehan’s downtown to settle in at the LFC Atlanta bar. A tense and exciting 90 minutes followed with the match ending in a 0-0 draw. I was able to interview several fans from each side and get updates on the each supporter group, memories from previous matches and thoughts on the teams thus far. Thanks to both groups for their time and a great atmosphere.

Find out more about Atlanta Manchester United Supporters Club and LFC Atlanta.

Atlanta Manchester United Supporters Club

LFC Atlanta

  • Website
  • Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat           @LFCAtlanta

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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.

ATL Spurs

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ATL Spurs podcast

Matt Gragg, Vice President of ATL Spurs, and I talked about Tottenham Hotspur on the latest SoccerNomad podcast. From the formation of the club to the origins of the Supporters Group to the big win against City to kits and the new stadium, we discussed a lot about the Lilywhites. If you have love Spurs or want to experience a great game day atmosphere, join ATL Spurs at Meehan’s Atlantic Station.

Find out more about the group at their website and on twitter (@ATLSpurs). Look them on facebook as well.

My post on the 2000/01 Spurs away kit can be found here on the SoccerNomad blog.tottenham_hotspur_2000-2001-change

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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.