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Revitalized D.C. heads south for battle of the Uniteds

Former Atlanta United teammates forward Josef Martinez (7) and D.C. United midfielder Yamil Asad (22) face off in a clash of the Uniteds. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON — D.C. United looks to build off momentum from a dominating first match at Audi Field as the club hits the road, heading south to Atlanta United.

Atlanta has 27 points and six matches on D.C. United. The clash of the Uniteds will most likely be another sellout at the record-holding Mercedes-Benz Stadium, headlined by Designated Player Wayne Rooney. Atlanta broke the single-game attendance record last week against Seattle Sounders with an announced 72,243 patrons in attendance for the 1-1 draw. 

How to watch

What: Atlanta United vs. D.C. United

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia

When: Saturday, July 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: Univision, Twitter, ESPN+

Predicted Starting XI: David Ousted; Joseph Mora, Frédéric Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Oniel Fisher; Chris Durkin, Yamil Asad, Luciano Acosta, , Zoltan Stieber, Paul Arriola; Wayne Rooney

The opposite of a slow news week

Audi Field was not the end of United’s transition into a new era; it was simply the beginning. Following a rocky open to Audi Field, marred by a supporters group spat and an injury to a member of the club’s media team, United got to work making critical changes in the week that followed.

United announced the hiring of former Head of Communications at The Football League in England, Chris Hull. Hull adds to United’s humble-sized communications staff as a senior advisor in Communications and Business Operations. 

On Tuesday, United shared news of an official USL affiliate in new team Loudoun United FC. Loudoun County officials and United worked together to negotiate a Memorandum of Agreement, providing county land to build facilities, and roughly $15 million in financing for fields and a 5,000-seat stadium.

Hours after the announcement of a new USL affiliate, United released a statement outlining the departure of former president of Business Operations Tom Hunt. Hunt’s departure came just days after supporter groups La Barra Brava and District Ultras protested what they said was unequal ticket distribution to all three United supporter groups.

Supporters groups solution

La Barra Brava and District Ultras held a “Stadium for All” march to Audi Field on the day of the inaugural match. Media outlets covered the controversy that spanned more than a year after United announced an official partnership with one of the three supporters groups, the Screaming Eagles. 

On Friday, United announced it completed successful talks with La Barra Brava and District Ultras to offer block seating to the remaining United supporters groups. The move is one step in an ongoing transition toward the future of United. 

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