Atlanta United will announce season ticket prices soon

Atlanta United will begin the process of converting the pledges the MLS expansion team has received for season tickets into purchases within the next two months, club president Darren Eales said.

The team has received pledges to purchase more than 29,000 tickets, which includes deposits and corporate suites sales.

“We’re excited, it’s an incredible number of commitments we have,” Eales said. “Whenever we go to a (MLS) Board of Governors meeting, the other clubs are there and they can’t believe where numbers are.”

Eales said the club has surveyed fans about ticket prices, compiled information on ticket prices for sports in the southeast and compared the data to the rest of the clubs in MLS as they put together the range of prices for Atlanta United’s supporters.

He said they hoped to start purchases no later than the end of February and it will start in Founder's Club member order.

“Everyone will be pleasantly surprised that we are trying to make seats affordable for everyone in our diverse fan base,” Eales said.

The club will contact Founder’s Club members by either email or phone. Eales said the team will use a virtual assistant so that supporters can see their seat in Mercedes-Benz Stadium before they select it.

The team will play its first season in MLS in 2017.

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Soccer stuff for the new fans: After reviewing transfers last week, let's look at competitions this week, specifically the Champions League and Europa League.

There will be much written over the next several weeks about teams in Europe playing to try to secure a spot in one of those tournaments.

The Champions League is the equivalent of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for soccer clubs around the world. It is the best of the best. Each region (Europe, South America, North American, etc.) hosts a Champions League tournament. MLS teams participate in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Some consider the Champions League in Europe be superior to the World Cup, particularly when the tournament reaches the quarterfinals, because it features most of the best players in the world, not bound by geography, playing for and against each other.

To qualify for Europe’s Champions League, a team must finish among the top in its domestic league the previous season. In England’s Premier League, for example, the four teams with the most points at the end of the 2015-16 season will qualify for the 2016-17 Champions League. Teams that participate earn revenue, which other than the prestige of being considered the best club in the best soccer region in the world, is a motivator.

The 2015-16 Champions League recently finished the group stage and will begin the Round of 16 on Feb. 16. Remaining teams include defending and five-time champ Barcelona, 10-time champ Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus, Roma and Arsenal, to name a few.

The Europa League is the equivalent of the NIT for European soccer clubs. While still prestigious, it doesn’t carry the same level of anticipation.

Games to watch

The top 10 games to watch in world soccer this week on on your TV or mobile streaming device:


3 p.m., Toulouse vs. PSG, bein Sports USA: PSG, a rising power in European soccer and featuring an all-star lineup headlined by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will take on Toulouse in the Coupe de France. PSG should win easily, so expect a lot of goals.


2:45 p.m., Leicester City vs. Tottenham, Fox Soccer 2Go: The two teams will meet for the third time in two weeks in this FA Cup replay. The teams tied 2-2 when they met on Jan. 10, hence the replay.


2:30 p.m., Hamburger vs. Bayern Munich, Fox Soccer 2Go: While Bayern Munich is running away with the Bundesliga, Hamburger are near the middle of the table. Munich, led by Pep Guardiola, is a good team to watch if you are just getting into the sport because of its flowing style.

8:30 p.m., Queretaro vs. Dorados, Univision Deportes: The bottom two teams in Liga MX will go at it in the equivalent of a six-point game.


10 a.m., Leicester City vs. Stoke City, NBC Sports Live Extra: The Foxes will continue their improbable push for the Premier League title against the resurgent Potters, who haven't given up hope of challenging for a Champions League spot.

10 a.m., Malaga vs. Barcelona, beIN Sports USA: Barcelona are chasing Atletico Madrid in Spain's Primera Division and should score plenty of goals against Malaga.

2:45 p.m., Empoli vs. A.C. Milan, beIN Sports USA: Milan is in sixth and Empoli seventh in Serie A, both fighting to try to move into the Champions League slots.

6 p.m., Club America vs. Pachuca, Univision Deportes: America and Pachuca are in third and fourth in Liga MX. America has twice played in the Georgia Dome. Pachuca's roster includes U.S. national team player Omar Gonzalez.


11 a.m., Arsenal vs. Chelsea, NBC Sports Live Extra: The Gunners sit atop the Premier League. Chelsea needed a last-second goal to tie Everton and maintain its unbeaten run under interim manager Guus Hiddink. This game is notable because of the rivalry between the two London-based clubs.

2:30 p.m ., Real Betis vs. Real Madrid, beIN Sports en Espanol: Expect a lot of goals in this one. Madrid has scored 10 goals in its past two games since replacing manager Rafa Benitez with Zinedine Zidane.

2:45 p.m., Juventus vs. Roma, beIN Sports USA: The game of the week in world soccer features Juventus, second in Serie A and two points behind Napoli, and Roma, in fifth with 35 points. Roma is breaking in new manager, Lucianao Spalletti, back for his second stint with the club.