Atlanta United are MLS champions, and the parade was rowdy and proud

December 10,2018

Josh Green, Curbed Atlanta

Just after 10 a.m. this morning, at the corner of Baker and Williams streets, chants of “A-T-L,” the thunder of drums, and innumerable whoops of joy signified that thousands of Atlantans were partaking in an atypical morning commute—the type of procession not seen in this city since the Atlanta Braves rocketed themselves to World Series Champions in 1995.

Unbelievably, the Braves’s feat was the lone major professional title in the history of Atlanta sports. Until Saturday night, that is, when Atlanta United FC captured the MLS Cup in only their second season, besting the Portland Timbers 2-0 and lending validity to the chant: “We ready. We ready. We ready. For y’all.”

Despite spitting, pesky rain and temps that barely nipped the low 40s, Monday’s downtown parade proved the accuracy of another ATL UTD rallying cry—“We are the A. From way down south. And we are here. Rowdy and proud.”

Traveling about 12 city blocks over the course of an hour and 15 minutes, beginning at Peachtree Street and ending naturally in the shadow of The Benz, the parade was a showcase of what team owner Arthur Blank would call “great diversity” and inclusivity. The rousing spectacle saw people of every conceivable background, age, and ethnicity screaming “Hootie Hoo!” in unison as the MLS Cup was hoisted before them.

In many ways the parade—and its “pep rally” climax at the Home Deport Backyard—was quintessentially Atlanta. (The winning part notwithstanding).

It was a testament to the unifying power of soccer—and success.