Atlanta United

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) drops back to pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.
Gerald Herbert / AP

On this edition of Political Rewind, if you are wagering that sports betting may soon be legal in Georgia, your odds of being correct have just gotten better.

The Atlanta Hawks, the Braves, Atlanta United and the Falcons have joined forces to push the legislature to make it legal. Our panel weighs in on how the battle is likely to unfold in the upcoming session.

 


John Amis / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons have had a rough first half to the season. After a loss of 27 to 20 against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, speculation has been flying around whether Falcons owner Arthur Blank will fire coach Dan Quinn during the bye week.

Georgia sports fans are used to dashed hopes, but not all franchises based in Atlanta are suffering like the Falcons. The Atlanta Hawks have had a strong start to their season, and Atlanta United is looking hopeful for a chance to take the MLS Cup for the second year in a row.


As speculation spreads over the potential mid-season replacement of Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, we get an update on all things happening in Atlanta Sports. On Second Thought speaks with Jon Nelson, host and correspondent for GPB’s Football Friday, and Taylor Gantt, GPB’s Morning Edition producer to hear about the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks and Atlanta United.


Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez gestures to the crowd after the team defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-0 in an MLS soccer Eastern Conference quarterfinal Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP

Julian Gressel scored in the 10th minute, Josef Martinez added a late goal and defending champion Atlanta United beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Thursday night to advance to the Eastern Conference final.

United will host Toronto FC on Wednesday night. Toronto beat top-seed New York City FC 2-1 on the road Wednesday night. 

Atlanta United coach Frank de Boer watches during the second half of the team's MLS soccer match against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J.
Steve Luciano / AP

The playoff run for MLS Cup defending champions Atlanta United continues with a conference semifinal match against Philadelphia Union. The winner will go on to face Toronto FC in the conference final and will be one step close to playing for the league title.  

John Amis / AP

After the Atlanta Braves suffered a brutal 13-1 defeat against the Saint Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Atlanta sports fans are praying for redemption this weekend, as Atlanta United heads into their playoffs against the New England Revolution on Saturday.

Sports fans often ride the emotional rollercoaster of a game right along with the players on the field — cringing at every missed catch and cheering every winning goal.


This week held playoffs for both the Braves and Atlanta United, but for the fans it is not only about wins and losses. On Second Thought delves into the psychology of Atlanta fandom with psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Seth Norrholm.


Stephen Fowler / GPB

While the playoff hopes of the Atlanta Braves were dashed at Suntrust Park this week, Atlanta's soccer team was preparing to compete for a second straight title in Major League Soccer.

Atlanta United is looking for back-to-back MLS Cup victories in only the team's third season.

United defeated the Portland Timbers in a 2-0 game at Mercedes Benz Stadium to clinch the cup in 2018. 

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez celebrates a goal by midfielder Julian Gressel in the second half of an MLS match against New England, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Atlanta.
Victoria Jimison / for GPB

Josef Martinez and Julian Gressel scored second-half goals and Atlanta United beat the New England Revolution 3-1 on Sunday in a playoff preview.

Defending champion Atlanta (18-12-4) finished second in the Eastern Conference to set a first-round game against New England. The Revolution (11-11-12) finished seventh, clinching their first playoff berth in four years with a victory over New York City FC a week ago.

Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst will retire at the end of the season. Parkhurst announced his decision Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, before the team trained for a crucial match at New York City FC.
Kamil Krzaczynski / AP

Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst will retire after the season, ending a 15-year career in which he was one of the top defenders in Major League Soccer, played in the Olympics and won an MLS Cup championship.


Atlanta United players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Minnesota United 2-1 the U.S. Open Cup soccer final Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP

Pity Martinez scored a goal and set up an own-goal by Minnesota with a nifty pass, leading short-handed Atlanta United to another trophy with a 2-1 victory in the final of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. 

  

Atlanta finished the game with 10 players after Leandro Gonzalez Pirez received a red card, holding off Minnesota United’s relentless pressure in the closing minutes. Michael Boxall had a chance to tie it but sent the ball over the crossbar with a shot from right in front.

Atlanta United brought home the first-ever Campeones Cup for the MLS in August.
Atlanta United FC

How is Atlanta keeping pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders safe? Why are solid waste bills suddenly so high? Will the city build more parks? 

In the August installment of our Ask: The Mayor series with GPB’s Rickey Bevington, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms answers those listener questions and more.

Scroll down to watch the full video.

HIGHLIGHTS This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Atlanta United Academy U-14 team after winning youth tournament
Atlanta United

In 2018,  Atlanta United defender George Bello became the sixth youngest player in Major League Soccer history to score a goal at age 16.

He’s a homegrown soccer player that trained at the Atlanta United Academy for several years before being signed in 2018.

The league requires each team to run programs like the Academy to train boys starting from age 11 to be the next generation of star players for the league.


Tormenta FC players in a huddle
Tormenta FC

When you think of sports in Georgia, your mind might immediately jump to football then maybe basketball or baseball.

But, according to a 2018 Gallup poll, soccer is now a more popular sport to watch among 18 to 54-year olds than baseball, and, because of this, professional soccer is a growing business opportunity.


Atlanta United fans
GPB News

Soccer is considered the most popular sport in the world. Half of the world's population watched some part of the month-long 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to FIFA.

As popular as soccer is globally, Georgia soccer fans still stand out for their dedication to the sport.


Kids playing at a Soccer in the Streets event outside of Mercedes Benz Stadium
Soccer in the Streets

If you ask adults why they played sports as a kid, they might say because it was fun. 

If you ask adults what skills they learned from sports, they might say teamwork, discipline and leadership. 

Teaching young people those life skills is the mission of Atlanta-based non-profit Soccer in the Streets, which is marking three decades working in communities like Clarkston, Vine City and Jonesboro. 

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta United played their first home game of the MLS season on Sunday, drawing with FC Cincinnati by a score of 1-1.

Atlanta started the game with a goal by MVP Josef Martinez, his first of the season.

But after holding the lead for 80 minutes, Atlanta gave up the tying score to expansion team FC Cincinnati, which was only playing its second game in Major League Soccer.

Senate feed screenshot

Atlanta United Owner Arthur Blank stopped by the Georgia Capitol on Thursday to thank lawmakers and fans across Georgia for their support of the teams Major League Soccer championship.

Delta News Hub

Atlanta United lost their first game in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament in Costa Rica on Thursday by a score of 3 to 1 against Herediano.

United were the favorites entering the match, but costly mistakes repeatedly hurt Atlanta and led to easy goals for the Costa Rican club.

Atlanta United logo mural
Delta Airlines

Atlanta United plays its first game in an international tournament Thursday.

The CONCACAF Champions League pits top ranked teams in North America, Central America and the Caribbean against one another.


GPB/ Stephen Fowler

Atlanta United fans are saying goodbye to one of the team's most beloved players, Miguel Almiron.

The 24 year old from Paraguay is reportedly being transferred to Newcastle in the English Premier League for a MLS record breaking fee of $27 million dollars.


Atlanta United

Atlanta United’s new head coach says he’s eager to start working with the MLS Cup-winning soccer team. 

On Monday, the City of Atlanta held its first sports championship victory parade since 1995 when the Braves won the World Series.  

Atlanta United won the Superbowl of Major League Soccer Saturday, defeating the Portland Timbers 2 – 0 in the MLS Cup.

In just two seasons, the team has broken every fan attendance record in the league, setting a new one over the weekend with 73,000 people at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Atlanta’s unique fan zeal was on display at today’s parade.


Todd Kirkland / Associated Press

A cold and drizzly Monday morning did little to keep thousands of Atlanta United fans from flocking downtown to celebrate the team's Major League Soccer Championship.

The United secured the MLS Cup Saturday night, with a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.


GPB/ Stephen Fowler

It’s been 23 years since a professional sports team from Atlanta won a championship.

Thanks to Atlanta United, the wait is finally over.

Atlanta United defeated the Portland Timbers 2-0 on Saturday to secure the 2018 MLS Cup, giving the city it’s first professional sports champion since the ’95 Braves.

Atlanta struck first in the 39th minute when MLS MVP Josef Martinez pounced on a loose ball in the Portland box, dribbled past the goalkeeper and scored the opening goal of the match.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Major League Soccer named the Atlanta United's Josef Martinez the league’s Most Valuable player Wednesday.

 


Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta Falcons

The city of Atlanta has hosted several major sporting events since the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium last year. 

The city could also host the MLS Cup later this month and is being considered as a site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

GPB's Rickey Bevington talks with Atlanta Sports Council President Dan Corso about the economic impact of these events and the teams that represent the city.


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  • Atlanta United To Play For MLS Championship

Atlanta United

Atlanta United is heading to the MLS Cup Final on Dec. 8, and this weekend marks the SEC Championship between Georgia and Alabama.

GPB reporter Ross Terrell and "Morning Editon" producer Taylor Gantt joined "On Second Thought" to share their predictions on the upcoming games.

We're getting close to the high school football championships time, then College Bowl games and finally Super Bowl LIII right here in Atlanta. Whether you follow the game or the traditions that surround it, Jon Nelson has the play-by-play.

He joined "On Second Thought" to discuss upcoming games and his podcast, "Football Fridays in Georgia."


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