Atlanta United will open its inaugural 2017 season at historic Bobby Dodd Stadium against New York Red Bulls on Sunday, March 5 at 7 p.m., Major League Soccer announced today. Atlanta will then travel to take on fellow expansion side Minnesota United on Sunday, March 12 at 5 p.m. The league will announce the rest of the schedule in early January, prior to the 2017 SuperDraft presented by adidas.
“We’ve all been counting down the days and we finally have a date to circle on our calendars,” club president Darren Eales said. “I know our fans are just as excited as we are to get started and we look forward to hosting this historic match in front of a packed house at Bobby Dodd Stadium.”
Fans interested in attending the club’s home opener can either purchase 2017 season tickets or the winter 3-game pack, which offers the first three Atlanta United home games and a gift for $99. Season tickets, which automatically qualify customers as Founding Members, and the 3-game pack can be purchased by visiting atlutd.com/tickets.
Fans can also sign up online to be invited into an exclusive single game pre-sale that will occur after the full MLS schedule is announced in January. This single game pre-sale will occur after Founding Members have had an opportunity to add single match tickets to their accounts. Founding Members will have the first priority to reserve group tickets to the opening game, or any other game, and can do so by emailing email@example.com.
MLS announced the home openers for all 22 clubs for the 2017 season and will announce the rest of the schedule in early January, prior to the 2017 SuperDraft presented by adidas. Fans can see the entire opening weekend schedule for the 2017 MLS season, as well as each team’s home opener, here.
The club also announced that they’ve signed free agent midfielder Jacob Peterson to a multiyear contract. Coming off of a career-high six-goal campaign with Sporting Kansas City in 2016, Peterson becomes the second free agent signing for Atlanta United this offseason.
Peterson, 30, is an 11-year MLS veteran with 246 career appearances and 147 starts. He’s spent the last five seasons with Sporting Kansas City, registering 13 goals and seven assists in 108 appearances. Peterson helped guide SKC to one of its most successful runs in club history, reaching the playoffs in all five seasons with Peterson on the team, including pinnacle moments such as winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice, in 2012 and 2015, and an MLS Cup in 2013.
Known as an attack-minded winger, Peterson has enjoyed a long career with four different MLS clubs. His reliability and durability have made him invaluable at each of his four stops. Only twice in his 11-year career has Peterson appeared in less than 20 matches. His teams have also enjoyed quite a bit of success, as the winger has made MLS Cup Playoffs on six different occasions and his team has won their domestic cup four different times – twice with Sporting Kansas City and twice with Toronto FC.
“His work rate and versatility stood out to us from the beginning,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “Coupled with his extensive experience, Jacob also brings a great attitude to work every day and it will be a positive addition to the locker room.”
Peterson was drafted with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft by Colorado Rapids. He spent four years with the Rapids, starting a total of 49 league matches while adding eight goals. In 2010, Peterson was traded to Toronto FC where he spent the next 18 months and won a pair of Canadian Championships. Peterson also scored a goal in CONCACAF Champions League, scoring against Real Salt Lake in the 2010-11 Group Stage. Peterson was soon traded to San Jose Earthquakes for the stretch run of the 2011 season. He joined Sporting Kansas City the following offseason.
The MLS offseason will continue with the MLS Re-Entry Process as Stage Two will begin on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. The MLS SuperDraft will then take place on Jan. 13 in Los Angeles.
Name: Jacob Peterson
Birthdate: Jan. 27, 1986 (age: 30)
Birthplace: Portage, Mich.
Previous Club: Sporting Kansas City
Transaction: Atlanta United signed free agent Jacob Peterson to a multiyear contract on Dec. 21, 2016.