What Atlanta United fans had to say about their team bringing home the MLS Cup

Atlanta sports fans have witnessed tragedy after tragedy. Now, Atlanta United has brought the city together.

194
Atlanta United victory parade downtown

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Twenty-three years. That’s how long it’s been since a professional Atlanta sports team was even able to hold a championship parade. In 1995, when the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, Bill Clinton was in the second year of his presidency, Windows 95 and Toy Story were released, eBay got off the ground, and the average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.11.

Now, the Atlanta sports curse has finally been lifted. In just their second season, Atlanta United defeated the Portland Timbers 2-0 at home on Saturday to take home the MLS Cup—50 years after the city’s very first professional soccer team, the Atlanta Chiefs, won a North American Soccer League championship. (That championship, like United’s, was also won in the Chiefs’ second year as a team.) Just before the victory parade began on Monday morning, we stepped outside our downtown office (conveniently located at the start of the parade route) to speak to United fans about what the championship means to them and to the city:

Atlanta United championship parade
Cris Wight

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Cris Wight
“Since 1995 when the Braves last won, it’s great that the city has something to come together for and that we have a professional sports team we can all get behind. It kind of brightens up the holiday spirit.”

Atlanta United championship parade
Terrance Thorn

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Terrance Thorn
“It’s great, it’s wonderful. We actually need stuff like this. It brings people together, especially now. It’s holiday season—couldn’t ask for a better time to get a championship. You see it, right here, it’s evident. It’s Monday, people are supposed to be at work—they’re out celebrating. We’re enjoying it. We need it.”

Atlanta United championship parade
From left: Aubrey, Jennifer, Eva, Cheryl, and Corey Peake

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Corey, Cheryl, Eva, Aubrey, and Jennifer Peake
“It’s been a long time coming for the City of Atlanta. Everybody knows the agonizing defeats that we’ve had in the past. The city’s really bought into Atlanta United—the whole culture. It’s exciting to get to witness this and to have the young ones be able to witness it as well.” —Corey Peake

Atlanta United championship parade
From left: Darin and Lily Glass, Max and Zack Strayer

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Darin and Lily Glass; Max and Zack Strayer
“It’s amazing. Being a Falcons fan forever, to have this in the city is amazing. Let’s hope this breaks the Atlanta curse! Rising tides bring up all ships.” —Darin Glass

Atlanta United championship parade
Rahmand Woodard and Linda McCann

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Rahmand Woodard and Linda McCann
“They didn’t think soccer was going to take off here in the South, and it did—it’s great.” —Linda McCann

Atlanta United championship parade
Blythe and Libby Grace, Harding and Oriana Weidman, May Ambler, and Sophia Arnold

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Blythe and Libby Grace, Harding and Oriana Weidman, May Ambler, Sophia Arnold
“The kids have been watching it, the neighborhood has been watching it—Atlanta United has been such a fantastic experience for everybody in our community.” —Brian Fisher (not pictured)

Advertisement