On October 25, 2023, the Atlanta United digital team launched a new podcast series called “The History of Atlanta Soccer” presented by Piedmont. The podcast, produced by Jason Longshore, Sandy McAfee, and Atlanta United, tracks the growth of soccer in the city, from the turn of the century to organized teams like the Atlanta Chiefs, Silverbacks, and Atlanta United.
In the first episode of the podcast, Longshore introduces the series and talks about the early days of soccer in Atlanta. He interviews lifelong ATLien and soccer historian Steve Holroyd about the first professional soccer team in the city, the Atlanta Chiefs. The Chiefs won the NASL championship in 1968, but the league folded in 1984, and soccer in Atlanta went dormant for several years.
In the 1990s, there was a resurgence of interest in soccer in Atlanta. The city was awarded a team in the A-League, the USL Championship’s predecessor. The team, known as the Atlanta Silverbacks, played from 1998 to 2015. The Silverbacks never won a championship, but they helped to grow the popularity of soccer in Atlanta.
In 2014, Atlanta was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. The team, Atlanta United FC, began play in 2017. Atlanta United quickly became one of the most popular teams in MLS, winning the MLS Cup in 2018.
The podcast explores all of this history and more. Longshore interviews coaches, players, current front office staff, and lifelong ATLiens to get their insights on the growth of soccer in Atlanta. He also talks about the unique culture of soccer in the city and what makes Atlanta such a special place to play and watch the game.
The podcast is a must-listen for any fan of Atlanta United or soccer in general. It is a well-produced and informative series that tells the story of a city that has fallen in love with the beautiful game.
Interview with Jason Longshore
I recently had the opportunity to interview Jason Longshore, the producer of “The History of Atlanta Soccer” podcast. Here is what he had to say about the podcast and the history of soccer in Atlanta:
Q: What inspired you to create “The History of Atlanta Soccer” podcast?
A: I have always been fascinated by the history of soccer in Atlanta. I grew up watching the Atlanta Silverbacks, and I was always curious about the teams that came before them. I wanted to create a podcast that would tell the complete story of soccer in Atlanta, from its early beginnings to the present day.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you faced in producing the podcast?
A: One of the biggest challenges was finding information about the early days of soccer in Atlanta. There is not a lot of written documentation about those teams, so I had to rely on interviews and oral histories. Another challenge was trying to condense all of the information I had into a manageable number of episodes. I wanted to make sure that the podcast was informative and engaging, but I also didn’t want to overwhelm listeners with too much information.
Q: What are you hoping listeners will learn from the podcast?
A: I am hoping that listeners will learn about the rich history of soccer in Atlanta. I also want them to learn about the people who have helped to grow the game in the city. Soccer is more than just a sport in Atlanta. It is a culture. I hope that the podcast will help listeners to understand and appreciate what makes Atlanta such a special place to play and watch the game.
Q: What are your thoughts on the future of soccer in Atlanta?
A: I am very optimistic about the future of soccer in Atlanta. The city has a passionate fan base, and the game is growing rapidly at the youth level. I believe that Atlanta United will continue to be one of the most successful teams in MLS, and I am excited to see what the future holds for the sport in the city.