Former United States Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley says that Atlanta United’s first-year success isn’t comparable to the 1998 inaugural season of the Chicago Fire. Strong words from the newly minted Los Angeles FC head coach. Comparing the two sides, however, says a lot.
Bob Bradley: Atlanta United’s First-Year Success Can’t Compare To The 1998 Chicago Fire
In their first season, Atlanta United in on pace to make the MLS Playoffs. With the season coming to an end soon, the Three Stripes are sitting in fifth place with a five point cushion and games in hand on teams above. Not to mention that seven of their last nine games are at home.
This may seem like an ideal first season, but Bradley had something to say about it.
“Atlanta is doing very well. We won the double. So when you said we did very well, let’s cut to the chase a bit. We won the double. As good as Atlanta is doing this year when there was a headline early in the year that this is the greatest expansion team of all time, somebody lost their mind,” Bradley told Soccer Today on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
Bradley coached the 1998 Chicago Fire. His reference to ‘The Double’ speaks when the Fire won both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup. With a 20-12 record and finishing first in the Western Conference, the Fire made themselves a household name.
Players like Peter Nowak, Roman Kosecki, Jerzy Podbrozny and Lubos Kubik provided the leadership for the team and made it known to opponents that playing the Fire would not be an easy win.
“That Chicago team probably never got the credit it deserved because there were those people that didn’t like the makeup of the team or where certain guys come from.”
He also admitted that Atlanta’s success this year has put a load of pressure on LAFC next season when they join the league. “There is definitely pressure. Atlanta is part of it, but the pressure is this is because this is Los Angeles. This is a city that, when it comes to sports, understands winning” he added.
Atlanta United host ‘rivals’ Orlando City SC this Saturday (4 pm EST | Facebook.com). Atlanta goes into the match on the weekend after dismantling the New England Revolution 7-0 on Wednesday.