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    Atlanta United Headed to Playoffs Following Average Season

    Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi (10) takes a first-half shot at goal as Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) applies pressure during a Leagues Cup group stage match at DRV PNK Stadium on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)

    Atlanta United has officially clinched their playoff spot in this year’s MLS season, reigniting hope in many fans for the chance of victory again. Back in their second season in 2018, United not only made the playoffs, but won the MLS cup. They have yet to repeat that feat, but many are wondering if this is the season the five stripes could finally pull through. 

    After joining MLS in 2017 under head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, United quickly gained popularity and success. In their first year, United led the league in attendance and averaged over 48,000 spectators in home matches. In just their first three years as a team, they not only continued their record-breaking attendance, but won three major championships: the MLS Cup, the U.S Open Cup, and the Campeones Cup.

    This year, the team has undergone many changes, especially in players. Fan favorite and star striker, Josef Martinez, separated from United at the beginning of 2023, leaving many fans heartbroken and worried. Despite this loss, many have stepped up to fill the hole left behind by Martinez, both homegrown and international. Among them, Georgios Giakoumak, Thiago Almada, and Saba Lobhanidze noticeably boosted hopes and morale. “It’s fun to go to games but they haven’t been very good and we just sold a bunch of my favorite players, although Saba has been fun to watch,” says season ticket holder and Paideia student Margaret Rudolph ‘26.  

    While United has performed perfectly average throughout the season, the strength of the team is debatable. Despite making it into the playoffs, it was not an easy journey. They have been inconsistent throughout the season, but hopefully the team will unite and conquer in their approaching matches. 

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    Hazel Hughes
    Hazel Hughes, Feature Editor

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