With ATL UTD 2’s inaugural roster and technical staff starting to take shape, fans are looking at their calendars to make plans to see some of the future stars of the club play in USL. And while there’s something to see in every match this year –– and Atlanta fans have proven they’ll always show up in numbers –– some matchups stand out above the rest. Here are the five must-see matches for ATL UTD 2 this year:
The Home Opener
This one is pretty simple: ATL UTD 2 makes their debut at Coolray Field on Saturday, March 24thagainst New York Red Bulls II. Not only is it their first match, in a way it’s a rematch, after Atlanta United’s MLS debut against New York Red Bulls last year. Not only that, but New York Red Bulls II has been one of the most successful teams in recent USL history, not only in the win/loss column but also in developing young players. Before he was one of the more promising prospects in the U.S. Men’s National Team player pool, Tyler Adams was blossoming in USL. So who is the next Tyler Adams? And don’t forget, ATL UTD 2 has some promising prospects of their own.
Whenever the reigning champs come to town is a must-see match. Louisville City FC lifted the trophy last year, and they’ll be coming to Gwinnett on Saturday, April 21st. Keep an eye out for top scorer and target man Luke Spencer leading the line and captain Paolo DelPiccolo in the center of the park, breaking up the play and creating chances for his teammates.
The Former Affiliate
Just ask Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, Lagos Kunga or Miles Robinson –– Atlanta United players know the Charleston Battery very well. The club’s former USL affiliate is one of the most historic and successful clubs in USL, and they’ll be coming to Coolray Field twice in 2018: on Tuesday, April 24th and Sunday, October 7th. And it could even feature a Romario Williams cameo, after he was named the Battery’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.
FC Cincinnati may be the USL’s closest equivalent to Atlanta United in MLS, a passionate fan base that broke record after record in attendance to turn into one of the forces of the league. Just ask new Atlanta United goalkeeper –– and former Cincinnati shot-stopper –– Mitch Hildebrandt: these fans are loud and travel in numbers. ATL UTD 2 will need its own fans to show up rowdy and proud to defend their home field against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, August 22nd.
The New Neighbors
Nashville SC will be kicking off its first competitive season this year with a preseason matchup against Atlanta United, but before their move to MLS they will be competing in USL this year. Get a sneak peek at a possible new rival when Nashville SC comes to Gwinnett on Wednesday, September 26th, and help the Five Stripes get their all-time record against our new neighbors to the north started with a win.
ATL UTD 2 will kick off its inaugural season in just a few short weeks. Click here to sign up for more information on season tickets to support the future of Atlanta United.