Along with Minnesota United, Atlanta United were one of two new franchises which began competing in Major League Soccer in 2017.
Nowadays, there is a league-wide deal with adidas but that wasn’t the case when the competition began in 1996 and so Austin Long wondered how Atlanta might have looked in Nike if they’d been on the original starting grid.
Atlanta’s kit is red and black stripes (‘The Five Stripes’, as featured on the crest, has become a nickname, representing the five pillars of the club – unity, determination, community, excellence and innovation), but Austin requested the style seen on the kits of New York/New Jersey Metrostars and San Jose Clash – typical mid-90s fare, but not overly brash.
Shirt sponsors are allowed now but back then MLS was like the other American professional sports in having the team name on the front – though, with the crest also present, it was kind of overkill and meant the number being squeezed in in an awkward spot.
Shorts sponsors were permitted and, while we probably should have gone with American Family Insurance, as adorns their shirts now, it made sense to include Coca-Cola, given the company’s links with Atlanta.