We’ve spoken a lot recently about how the art of football allows for ‘complications’ from time to time. These aren’t always easy to deal with, and sometimes, they can leave us sitting back, staring at the ceiling and wondering where it all went wrong. That seems a little bit depressing and a touch morbid, but at the end of the day, it’s true.
We’ve also spoken a lot about how Atlanta United fans just don’t really seem to get it, and neither does the media. We can understand why, because the MLS is still pretty new and fresh, but we aren’t so sure that warrants the kind of reaction that ATL has been getting after their start to the season.
The ATL mystery
It’s no secret that they haven’t been able to recapture the form that put them on the map in the first place, and the form that led to them winning the MLS Cup last season. However, it’s almost as if everyone was expecting the bare minimum to be that they make it back to the MLS Cup again this time around. They still might, but the fact that there was such an outcry after the start to the campaign that they had seems a little bit odd to us.
They’ve been able to somewhat get back on track in recent weeks, and in their last outing, a 3-0 win against Sporting KC seemed to indicate that they’re back in the race for good this time. However, articles such as the ones produced by Soccer America and High Press Soccer kind of highlight what we’re trying to get across.
It’s all about ‘relief’ and ‘getting going’ and avoiding disaster, when in reality, there was no disaster to begin with. This is still an incredibly new franchise with an incredibly bright future ahead of them, and if you put too much pressure on their shoulders, they could end up going through a run similar to that of the Houston Dynamo (and we’ve seen how long it took them to get back to the top).
It’s going to sound weird, but it almost feels as if Atlanta needed (or still need) to go through the rough times for a little bit longer in order to appreciate the good even more. They’ve been riding high for a long time and we aren’t going to say that there’s any kind of real issue with that, because it could quite easily just come across as nothing more than jealousy.
But we still can’t get away from the ‘throw your toys out of the pram’ mentality.
Just imagine if they wind up winning the MLS Cup for a second consecutive year: where are they going to end up going from there? The reaction to another downfall would surely be even worse, and we’re not convinced they’d be able to handle it particularly well.
They’ve got some interesting games coming up against Toronto, Atlanta and Vancouver, all of which will test this franchise’s ability to maintain their bouncebackability.