You would think, after everything we’ve seen over the course of the last few decades of action, that football fans would learn to stop dismissing things when there’s still some kind of hope that the unlikely is going to happen. Alas, even with that being the case, fans from around the world continue to be surprised by what goes down in any given football/soccer league on a week to week basis.
If you want a perfect example of that, then just take a look at the rise, fall and rise again of Atlanta United. This team, despite being an expansion side, is widely considered to be one of the best-supported teams in all of Major League Soccer. The fans in Georgia love the sport, and they aren’t afraid to parade that love around for all to see.
The next step
However, as a lot of folks may remember, their MLS Cup triumph last season was followed up by a less than stellar start to the current campaign. Frank de Boer was brought into the fold in an attempt to keep the good times going, but after a few short weeks, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t going to be as simple as that.
As opposed to looking at things from a rational point of view, though, fans of the club immediately turned on the manager and questioned why this was happening. It almost felt like they hadn’t experienced what it was like to go through the hardships of being a football fan, and in truth, the reason it felt like that is because that’s exactly what had happened.
As you can tell by the following MLS Soccer report, though, things have since turned around in a big way, with Atlanta now finding themselves in a really comfortable position over in the Eastern Conference. They are in second spot behind Philadelphia Union, and if they win their game in hand, they will shoot straight to the top of the Eastern rankings.
Big challenges await
While there are still quite a few hurdles to go, including a tough game against LAFC as reported by Sportingpedia, things are looking up for Atlanta – although if they have another troublesome spell, we’d be intrigued to see how the fans handle it.
They could do the exact same thing as before and jump into a state of sheer and utter panic, or perhaps instead, they’ll take the more mature approach. This is still an incredibly young football club so perhaps we should be giving them the benefit of the doubt, but you have to realise that so many franchises in MLS would kill to have the kind of early success that Atlanta has enjoyed.
For a lot of people it’d be poetic justice if they were to fall off of the wagon again, but really, all that we need to see is a bit of humility and heart. They’ve certainly got the latter, but it’s the first trait that they need to work on as this dramatic and fascinating MLS season continues.