• The short life and long death of Chivas USA
    by Pablo Maurer and Sam Stejskal on October 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Chivas USA wasn't around for long, but the lessons of MLS's most egregious cautionary tale resonate to this day

  • Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United: Match Preview
    by David McFarland on October 27, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images Playing for pride? Here we are. Almost exactly one year after Atlanta United fell to Toronto FC at home in the Eastern Conference final, the Five Stripes’ season looks set to end once more, albeit in drastically different circumstances. A heartbreaking loss to D.C. United has sent the Five Stripes’ playoff hopes teetering on the edge of a cliff, and none other than Orlando City could be the one to apply the final push. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images Daryl Dike scoring versus Inter MiamiOrlando, however, is in the midst of some struggles of its own. Since Atlanta’s 0-0 draw with the Lions back on October 7th, Orlando is yet to win a game. Following ties versus both New York teams, it succumbed to defeat against Inter Miami Saturday. It’s fallen nine points off the top spot in the East and into 4th, with NYCFC and New England within three points of jumping Orlando into the top four. It’s been attack where Orlando has dipped the most, with just three goals in its last four. For contrast, it had nine tallies in the four matches preceding the Atlanta draw. With four matches left in the campaign, Orlando could still climb up the table into the very top of the East, but if its lapse in form continues Orlando would be in danger of losing home-field advantage in the postseason. A win over Atlanta could be the spark needed to restart the Lions’ season and Oscar Pareja’s men will surely come out with high intensity. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images The Five Stripes, meanwhile, fell to 12th and two points below the red line thanks to its loss to DC. The two teams directly above Atlanta, Miami and Chicago, may not have much gentler run-ins, but look ready to grind out results while Atlanta is still stuck on figuring out how to create an expected goals tally greater than 0.50. Losing to Orlando twice in one season would hurt a lot more, though. Since playoffs seem too big an ask, hopefully the Five Stripes at least save some face and manage to leave Florida with a result. Predicted Starting XIs Orlando’s Predicted XI (4-2-3-1)Atlanta’s Predicted XI (4-2-3-1)Prediction: Orlando City 2-0 Atlanta United Even with its struggles of late, Orlando should cruise to victory, especially at home. I’ll go out on a limb here and say Atlanta’s expected goals will be less than 0.50 once more. Ninety minutes of fun, here we come!

  • Atlanta United put on pause after player produces confirmed positive COVID-19 test result
    by Joe Patrick on October 26, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports As of now, only Tuesday’s training is canceled Atlanta United announced a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result from one of its players Monday afternoon that will cause Tuesday’s training session to be canceled ahead of a planned trip to Orlando Wednesday night. All MLS players and tier one staff undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests every other day, including the day before and after each match. The confirmation of a COVID-19 case occurs when the individual receives two consecutive positive test results. For this case, the initial positive resulted from Sunday’s testing and was confirmed on Monday, according to the club. As of now, that game is still scheduled as planned, but the entire team and training ground operations staff will be tested tomorrow before further arrangements, if any, are announced. All other players and staff returned negative tests on Sunday during routine testing, according to the club. Additional standard testing will be conducted Tuesday. No other Atlanta United players or staff are currently exhibiting symptoms. In accordance with local and league guidelines, the individual will remain in self-isolation and be monitored by club medical staff under a strict and detailed protocol. At this time, the individual is asymptomatic. The club is working closely with local health officials to conduct contact tracing for those who came in close contact with the individual.

  • One thought on Atlanta United’s last minute capitulation against D.C. United
    by Rob Usry on October 25, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Pull the plug I felt happiness while watching an Atlanta United match yesterday. It was a brief burst of joy that overcame me when Gelmin Rivas blasted a shot past Brad Guzan in the 92nd minute. That moment brought the end of the 2020 season closer than ever. Despite being a joke for the majority of the season, this iteration of Atlanta United still remains alive for postseason contention due to the elementary playoff format put in place. But I would rather be forced to watch every Adam Sandler Netflix original movie for the rest of my life than have to watch this team in the playoffs. Please Orlando, pull out that plug and let us drift away into the light.

  • Atlanta United drops three points to last place DC United, fails to move into playoff position
    by Kyle Soto on October 24, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Atlanta failed to step up and secure three crucial points that would have been an extraordinary boost in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta United fell 1-2 to DC United in a limited capacity and socially distanced Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday evening. Heading into the final minutes of the match, it seemed Atlanta had faltered against the worst team in the league on home turf. Then John Gallagher gave Atlanta a chance to walk away with crucial, crucial points. Then it came crashing down. Let’s get into it, I guess. Atlanta United now finds itself at 12th in the East, two spots below the playoff line, with 19 points from 20 games. Lineups #ATLUTD’s Starting XI vs D.C. United. pic.twitter.com/UAbvBvQ9jd— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) October 24, 2020 Today's Starting XI for #ATLvDC.@GEICO | #VamosUnited pic.twitter.com/Zp7ZDFqpTp— dcunited (@dcunited) October 24, 2020 Highlights Atlanta controlled the first ten minutes of the match but couldn’t complete any passing sequences to create solid shot opportunities. About ten minutes into the match, DC forced a save out of Brad Guzan. Former Five Stripe Yamil Asad picked up a yellow in the 29th minute after fouling Marcelino Moreno right outside DC penalty area. Moreno took the subsequent free kick and forced a save out of DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Ezequiel Barco picked up the second booking of the night in the 39th minute. Six minutes later, Moreno forced another save out of Bill Hamid to close out the first half. Marcelino le da con todo pic.twitter.com/IqSZspt2nK— Atlanta United Fútbol Club (@VamosATLUTD) October 24, 2020 The opening minutes of the second half were somewhat of a slog until Moreno created his own shot outside the penalty area, but Hamid was unperturbed. DC United captain Russel Canouse scored the go ahead goal in the 78th minute. Watch if you want. .@RussellCanouse gives @DCUnited the 1-0 lead! #ATLvDC pic.twitter.com/ObIsIO4rql— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 24, 2020 John Gallagher headed a Brooks Lennon cross past Hamid in the 88th minute to give Atlanta a late chance at stealing all three points. LEVEL IN ATLANTA! @JonGallagher96 makes it 1-1 late! #ATLvDC pic.twitter.com/tPcX2iKWlt— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 24, 2020 Atlanta’s comeback hopes were short lived thanks to a rocket of a shot from Gelmin Rivas in the second half stoppage minute. And that was the game. Tweet of the Match pic.twitter.com/n7kNEFkpIG— Tiotal Football (@TiotalFootball) October 24, 2020 What’s Next? Stephen Glass and his squad are visiting Orlando City on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.

  • Atlanta United 1-2 DC United: Post-match reaction
    by Joe Patrick on October 24, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images You rate, you react to... that I’ve re-written this lede three times now. Atlanta United lost at home to the team in last place. Barring a miracle, the team will not be participating in the expanded MLS Cup playoffs, and could be in danger of finishing the season in last place. On the bright side, our long-lived nightmare is nearly over. Instead of giving you our player ratings, we what to know what you think. Below is a ratings form for you to fill out with how you rate each Atlanta United player’s performance. After a day/night of voting, we’ll tabulate the ratings and reveal them with the top rated player being named our site’s Man of the Match. Feel free to head down to the comments section and leave your thoughts on the match as a whole or give your detailed explanation of your ratings. Here’s a mobile-friendly link to the ballot. The in-post ballot only works on desktop due to issues out of my control.

  • Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI vs DC United
    by Santiago Lopez on October 24, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Can Atlanta secure three points and rise above the playoff line? Atlanta United face off against DC United in a must-win scenario today at 4 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The playoffs are on the line. Can Stephen Glass inspire a win after a loss against Toronto? Atlanta United’s lineup vs. Toronto: #ATLUTD’s Starting XI vs Toronto FC. pic.twitter.com/XE5CM3Tlno— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) October 18, 2020 The highlight of this lineup wasn’t in the starting XI at all. It was the return of Ezequiel Barco and Marcelino Moreno to the squad. Regardless of the loss, Atlanta United fans were happy that these Designated Players were at least included in the matchday squad and could get minutes against Toronto. There is hope that both Argentines can start against DC United. Atlanta United will need them both to get above the playoff line. Who does Glass lineup? My predicted starting XI: Stephen Glass finally has his weapons to get Atlanta United scoring goals again. It shouldn’t matter if DC United is in last place; he needs to put both Barco and Moreno from the start to get this team back on track and begin getting positive results. Franco Escobar is excluded from the starting XI because it’s not clear yet if he is fit to play. If he is healthy, he will start as he has been a key player under Glass. Jon Gallagher will most likely be given a rest if Escobar starts. This will make Lennon move over to the right-wing and Barco to the left-wing. Let us know your predictions below!

  • Storm Watch: Tormenta FC at North Texas SC
    by Jackson Popkin on October 24, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Image via uslleagueone.com Will South Georgia’s form run through the final game of the season? South Georgia Tormenta FC’s 2020 season will conclude tonight with a trip to Arlington, Texas, as the team takes on FC Dallas operated North Texas SC, who still remain in the chase for the USL League One Final, albeit the least likely of the three contenders left for the second spot in the championship game. Tormenta’s fate on the outside has been confirmed for a few weeks now, but the Statesboro club is not going out quietly, as shown by the previous two matches in the past week: a 1-0 win on the road to second place Richmond, and Wednesday night’s thrilling, record making blowout of New England Revolution II in the home finale. Revs II came to town as arguably the hottest team in the league, unbeaten in their last five, including some heavy scorelines. Tormenta kept the same defensive look that earned the clean sheet in Richmond, and kept center back Josh Phelps at striker for the second consecutive match. Attacking focal point Marco Micaletto was absent due to red card suspension, leaving a gap for Jad Arslan and Luca Mayr to fill. The visitors set out to control possession, which they did throughout the match, but it was Tormenta who struck uncharacteristically early in the game in the 18th minute, when Josh Phelps won a chase down the right touchline, bodied a defender off the ball, and delivered a pass to the feet of Nil Vinyals, who swung through a bouncing ball into the bottom corner to give the home team the lead. Phelps would make his presence known again in the 29th minute, pouncing on a spilled Luca Mayr shot, scoring his first professional goal to join the assist. Just five minutes later, a deflected cross landed in front of Arslan, who quickly pulled off a powerful strike to give Tormenta a 3-0 lead. Now comfortably ahead, head coach Ian Cameron brought in 18 year old Savannah native and Clemson commit Tristan DeLoach shortly into the second half. The Tormenta Academy player managed 100% success in his six passes as he got extended gameplay with the professional team for the first time. Another second half sub, Devyn Jambga, got involved as well, capping off a counter attack by dribbling into the box from the left side and unleashing a shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net in the 81st minute. The defense held on easily from there, and the 4-0 score for Tormenta became the largest victory for the club in two years of professional competition. With momentum the highest it’s been all year, South Georgia is faced with another in form team for its final match. Last year’s champions, North Texas has shown their quality yet again after a shaky start, losing only once (to first place Greenville Triumph) in their last ten matches. Arturo Rodriguez, last year’s MVP, has put on a show in recent matches, putting up a goal or assist in four of their last five games. This being a must win for North Texas, I’d expect some more first team players being called down for the match to bolster the lineup a bit. North Texas sits fourth in the table compared to Tormenta’s seventh, and can still find themselves in the second place berth in the Final should they win and have Richmond and Omaha both lose. Tormenta has yet to win in the series, with one draw and two losses when they met during the 2019 season. I’d expect South Georgia to approach this one in a similar fashion to Wednesday’s match with Revs II, but the rejoining of Micaletto will shuffle around a lineup that clicked well offensively in the last match. Hopefully, the additional chances that will be created by Micaletto will be finished by Phelps, who now has a goal and assist under him in his new role. Will the defense remain strong once more against potent FC Dallas wonderkids? Will the goals keep coming from Tormenta’s attack? We’ll find out as the season concludes tonight in Arlington. Projected Lineups: North Texas SC Tormenta FC Prediction: North Texas SC 1-2 Tormenta FC Match Info: South Georgia Tormenta FC at North Texas SC USL League One Regular Season, Week 16 Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas Saturday, October 24th, 2020, 8:30 P.M. EST Watch on ESPN+ in U.S.; YouTube internationally

  • Atlanta United vs. D.C. United: Match Thread and How to Watch
    by Jackson Popkin on October 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports A big opportunity at home against last place D.C. The limited number of fans attending an Atlanta United game in person for the first time since March will, if the last meeting with D.C. is anything to go by, be treated to attacking gameplay and opportunities to see creativity from players like Barco and Moreno. Many fans at home, though, will have to get creative themselves in order to watch the match. The recent news of Hulu joining many other popular streaming services like YouTube TV in being unable to agree with Sinclair Broadcast Group means that they will no longer broadcast regional sports networks like Fox Sports South and Southeast, which will leave many fans without the ability to easily access tonight’s game. ESPN+ streams remain blacked out in the local area, leaving just cable and satellite users who will be able to watch from their TV. One increasingly common solution is to use a VPN to change your IP location to outside the blacked out zone, giving you access to the ESPN+ stream. This method is probably the best non-illegal method of watching if your channels are dropped, although it will likely include a payment for the VPN service (and ESPN+ of course). If you are able to watch, or want to try to imagine the game through the comments of your fellow fans, join us down below in the match thread later for the late afternoon kickoff. While you wait, venture over to the match preview and lineup prediction for the match, then get ready for what will hopefully be another big win over D.C. United as the hunt for a playoff spot continues. Atlanta United’s Lineup: #ATLUTD’s Starting XI vs D.C. United. pic.twitter.com/UAbvBvQ9jd— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) October 24, 2020 D.C. United’s Lineup: Today's Starting XI for #ATLvDC.@GEICO | #VamosUnited pic.twitter.com/Zp7ZDFqpTp— dcunited (@dcunited) October 24, 2020 How to Watch: Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia Kickoff Time: Saturday, October 24th; 4:00 PM EST Available TV: FOX Sports Southeast Available Streaming: FOX Sports Go, ESPN+ (Out of market) Available Radio: 92.9 The Game, La Mejor 1600 AM This thread will be your match thread. We don’t have many rules here. We just ask that you don’t insult each other personally and treat each other with respect. Debates can get heated and that’s fine, but name-calling and petty insults will get you banned. If you see a comment that you feel is out of line, please report it and it will be dealt with. Dirty South Soccer has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.

  • How Atlanta United’s missed signings, unclear plan have led to a subpar 2020
    by Felipe Cardenas on October 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Atlanta United is now a club without a clear direction, with a bevy of disappointing recent signings to match

  • Disconnect: As MLS teams back social causes, owners’ money often fights them
    by Pablo Maurer and Sam Stejskal on October 20, 2020 at 11:00 am

    A deep dive into the contributions of MLS owners shows many that contradict teams' support for Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ issues and more

  • MLS: Five things we learned
    by Nicholas Mendola on October 15, 2020 at 2:50 am

    A 17-year-old USMNT prospect scored a ridiculous goal, a well-traveled midfielder kept Nashville SC in the playoff race, and FC Cincinnati stunned Columbus.

  • MLS to launch reserves league beginning play in 2021, sources say
    by Jeff Rueter on October 13, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    The new U-23 league will have big impacts on the USL and will consolidate MLS's role in its clubs' player development pathways

  • After ‘dumb decisions’ in Atlanta, Andrew Carleton is rising again in USL
    by Jeff Rueter on September 29, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    The still-young U.S. standout is getting playing time and making plays in the second division

  • MLS clubs facing conundrum over releasing players for October FIFA dates
    by Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal on September 25, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Factoring in time for quarantine, losing international players this October could be a big competitive blow for the league.

  • How MLS can strengthen its already-existing diversity hiring initiative
    by Sam Stejskal on September 21, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Two groups of current and former players along with a leading expert recommend more accountability for hiring practices

  • A Black soccer culture rose up in Atlanta. Now, it seeks lasting progress.
    by Felipe Cardenas on September 17, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Four Atlantans tell their stories about building a new culture in the city, and the work that's still left to do to strengthen it

  • Atlanta United forging ahead with roster moves while not rushing manager search
    by Felipe Cardenas on September 15, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    As results continue to disappoint, the club is attempting to build toward a post-De Boer era

  • Atlanta United sells Pity Martinez to Al-Nassr for big fee
    by Nicholas Mendola on September 2, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    The weird, hyped, and spectacularly okay ride of Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez through Major League Soccer is over after about 20 months.

  • Sources: Atlanta United agrees to sell Pity Martínez to Saudi club Al-Nassr
    by Felipe Cardenas on September 2, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    The transfer, reportedly for $18 million, will create a hole in Atlanta's starting XI but enable the club to search for a new DP

  • Schultz: Arthur Blank on book, pain of Vick saga and what he did post Super Bowl
    by Jeff Schultz on August 31, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Blank: "In life, you take responsibility for what you can control and your decisions."

  • How MLS players came together across time zones to walk out in protest
    by The Athletic Soccer staff on August 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    The inside story of how a flurry of texts, a phone ban and staggered kickoffs led to one of the most remarkable nights in MLS history

  • What you need to know about MLS players choosing not to play on Wednesday
    by The Athletic Soccer staff on August 27, 2020 at 3:45 am

    MLS players followed the lead of the NBA and other leagues in choosing not to play, with one exception

  • Being a selling club in MLS is complex, but Union hope to establish a formula
    by Paul Tenorio on August 26, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    MLS has embraced its status as a feeder league, but internal rules make it difficult for clubs to know when to sell, and for how much

  • Why Lionel Messi likely won’t be MLS’s next superstar signing
    by Paul Tenorio on August 25, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Messi has asked to leave Barcelona, and some speculate that MLS could be next. Here's why that's highly unlikely.

  • MLS wrap: Inter Miami opens stadium with win, Galaxy wins El Trafico
    by Nicholas Mendola on August 23, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Major League Soccer's regular season threw some rivalries our way on Saturday ahead of Sunday night's Cascadian duel between Portland and Seattle.

  • Exclusive: Frank de Boer on his Atlanta United departure and what’s next
    by Felipe Cardenas on August 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    De Boer offers a forthright assessment of what went wrong in Atlanta

  • How the Sounders’ deal with Amazon could have league-wide impact
    by Sam Stejskal on August 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    The global giant is one of a handful of companies that could take on all of MLS's 2022 inventory, and now has a new foothold in the league

  • What Atlanta United should look for in its next manager
    by Felipe Cardenas on August 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Oddly enough, Tata Martino's influence could loom larger than ever over the process of selecting a new direction for the club

  • Why MLS deserves credit for its bubble, skepticism for its regular season plans
    by Sam Stejskal on July 29, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    The league built a safe environment in Orlando, but mistakes were made along the way