Sports are a competitive battle among the best of the best. To be number one, you need to be dominant, tough, and united. It’s hard to keep your place at the top, but if the team has all of these traits, they are also hard to beat. The Five Stripes was at the top of the MLS, but in 2020 there was a wake-up call for everyone involved with Atlanta United. In the last power rankings, Atlanta United ranked 25th, dropping six places from the previous rankings. We can all agree that they fell from grace, but just how bad did the Five Stripes fall?
Power Rankings are a way to determine which teams have shown progression, improvements, or lack thereof, per a period of time. Rankings are usually subjective, but it is created by analysts and critics who spend time watching the games. As fans, this is a great way to set standards for the team’s season and an excellent way to develop expectations for the upcoming year. It’s not the only way to assess performance, but being in the top 5 in the Power Rankings means many positives about the team, and as you go further down the list, the more negative it becomes.
During their title-winning season, it came as no surprise that Atlanta was ranked #1 in the Power Rankings going into the 2019-2020 season. Despite not winning anything during that run, Atlanta United finished strong and solid, ending the 2019 season with a number 4 ranking. This ranking transferred into the start of the 2020 season, with many analysts recognizing that the Five Stripes were a contender. The Five Stripes was seen as one of the most dangerous teams in the MLS, but as we know, with multiple injuries, this ranking was hard to sustain.
We knew this season would be challenging, but this decline has truly been disappointing and unexpected. Yes, we lost our star player, but we expected the Five Stripes to find a way to stay in the mix. To drop from 4th to 25th is not something Atlanta and their fans should be proud of. The year 2020 has indeed been a difficult year being a fan and a player, but let’s hope that they can finish strong and gain momentum for the next season.