MLS fans planning an away day to newly-formed Atlanta United in the forthcoming season will want to have their wits about them. Heads down, colours hidden – or risk the wrath of the ultras.
The club, or – please don’t make us say it – franchise, are about to begin life in the US and Canada’s top tier, and their supporters are already rehearsing for the terraces.
Now, we’re not saying that soccer lovers shouldn’t be entitled to embrace the age-old English footballing tradition of automatically hating the opposition fanbase like you would someone that was mean to your mum. By the same token, any match-going devotee of the beautiful game reserves their right to tell the referee that he’s an irredeemable wanker (knowing full well that he’s probably a really nice man) because he didn’t give you that last-minute penalty. Football is silly and tribal and we’re all guilty of getting a bit overexcited about it all, so why can’t America do the same?
It’s just that, well, when the chants are as utterly naff as this, it’s hard not to do a little sigh.
If you didn’t quite catch that, they’re singing: “This is Atlanta, you’d better shut your mouth. This is Atlanta, we’re gonna stomp you out.”
Atlanta have only played friendlies so far, two of which they’ve won, and they’ll be hoping that mercurial ex-Sunderland frontman Kenwyne Jones can rack up the goals as they announce themselves to MLS.
In the meantime, the ultras can look forward to one hell of a ding-dong with Seattle, who still hold the record for most toe-curlingly terrible chant of all time.