Atlanta United’s relationship with the CONCACAF Champions League continues with the club clinching a spot in 2021. The news may come as a shock for many fans. How did Atlanta United secure a spot when they had such a horrible season?
The truth is, the team sealed a spot in an unconventional way. To secure a spot in the CCL, the USSL gave four bids to the winners of the MLS Cup, MLS is Back Cup, the Supporters’ Shield, and the US Open Cup. The Columbus Crew, Portland Timbers, and the Philadelphia Union all took a spot because they won their respective tournaments. However, with the lockdown early this year, the 2020 US Open Cup had to be canceled. The final bid was then handed to Atlanta United because the club is technically still the reigning champions. This was certainly a very lucky way to secure a CCL spot.
Being able to compete in the CCL and compete against some of the best teams in the region is an honor. There is a lot for fans to be excited about with the new manager, Gabriel Heinze, and especially with the return of Josef Martinez. Early this year, we talked about the possibility of the Five Stripes wanting to rebuild. This seems to be the path the club is taking with a new manager and many veteran players leaving.
Atlanta United will be competing in next year’s CCL competition and as the best fans in the MLS, we want to see our club succeed in every match. Hopefully, with the changes, the club will return to the level of success we all want and expect.