Building A Fan Base At Atlanta United: Part 2 Of 4

May 28, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United fans in the yell from the stands during the first half against New York City FC at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
May 28, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United fans in the yell from the stands during the first half against New York City FC at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

As we go forward in this series…

The first topic was having to deal with something from the ground up and figure out how to move forward when you have four sanctioned groups that act as one come Game Day in Atlanta.

That part of the story can be found here…

And, once again, here are the introductions to the four officially sanctioned supporters groups, where you can find out more about them, their goals, and by-laws…

Terminus Legion

The Faction

Footie Mob and


But, this week’s topic is a little different…

It has to do with one of those in-game elements you see and, frankly, one the Atlanta United fan base has become known for very quickly in MLS circles…


Examples that have stuck are like this one…

And this one…

So, what we thought we’d do this time around is ask about the growth of what works, what hasn’t, and what might for 45,000 people at home matches this season. Each supporters group has brought answers to the discussion.

How did you come up with your specific ideas?

Nermin Sakonjic- Resurgence Capo

There are many universal chants that are used in the world of football. Every member submits their chant ideas to the lead capos of every SG. After reviewing many submissions, the capos discus with each other and decide what to pick.  Personally, I first chose the chants that I knew that were used in other clubs. After hearing them, I created a few of my own tunes and put lyrics into them, creating some short and simple chants. The call and response and the viking clap came to my mind after noticing that many clubs have the whole stadium going with them, and it gives a euphoric like feeling. As for the future, we want to create our own style, something distinct with Atlanta and how we support. This may be specific chants, tunes, even drum beats.

Michael Collier- Music Director/Capo- Terminus Legion

Honestly it’s wherever inspiration hits.  I know it’s a cliché answer, but personally I’ll either be listing to a song, commercial, tv, etc. and here a tune and see if anything will fit.  Sometimes they’re good, most of the time they’re bad.  Also there is a lot of plug and play with existing chants and we’ll just change words around to make it Atlanta’s.  Where a lot of chants come from though are our members.  They’ll message me or the group with an idea and if it works, then it works.  Anyone can submit a chant, we’ve even had kids about 8 years old come up with some stuff and I love having that line of communication open.  Another big element is whatever happens organically in the stands.  If someone starts a chant that’s really catchy and people start joining in, then it’s in the library.

Kevin Kinley- The Faction Co-Founder

We don’t contribute much to chants but do participate.

Curtis Jenkins- Footie Mob President

We didn’t want Atlanta to sound like every other city. We know some chants are sort of universal, but we wanted to contribute something local. Something that you wouldn’t hear elsewhere.

How much consultation with the other groups?

Allison Noffsinger- Resurgence Board of Directors

Regarding chant creation, extremely minimal–the only time we’ve worked together as SG’s was for the “Hey Ya” chant to cover up Puto. However, each group has created their own chants that we have shared with each other, and are readily available for all to see on each SG’s website.  The in-game chants and capo rotation are determined within an inter-sg Capo/Chant committee.  The committee also collaborates on things like section leaders within the supporter’s section and communication between capos and capo assistants within the SS.

Collier- Terminus Legion

There is a AUFC musicians group that has people from Resurgence, Footie Mob, TL, and independents.  Our goal is to make the game day experience something great for everyone to enjoy.  We also have a group for drummers and people who want to play instruments in the supporter section that is also a coalition of various supporter groups.

Kinley- The Faction

Each group has different chants, the capo starts them.

Jenkins- Footie Mob

There was no consultation on our end as far as specific chant creation, however our capos did make a point to learn other groups chants. We want everything to be mixed in. Past that all the capos are in a group together and work together to make sure that everyone is on the same page on everything .

Anything left on the cutting room floor and is this an organically growing element of fan support?

Noffsinger- Resurgence (she is also the American Outlaws Atlanta Chapter Vice President)

Part of developing a unique supporter’s culture for a brand new club is trying out new things.  We essentially have a blank slate.  There have been some ideas we’ve had that looked great on paper, but were either too wordy or difficult to pull off when you’ve got a few thousand people trying to do it at once in the middle of a game.

In terms of organic growth, there is a balance.  Atlanta is a soccer city, but we’re a new team, and every game we’ve got new people in the supporter’s section/stadium, so you must have some easy/known chants people can pick up quickly, but you also don’t want to be chanting “I Believe” for 90 minutes.  The viking clap is the perfect example of a well-known chant we have used.  We didn’t invent it, but it was easy enough that all of Bobby Dodd caught on, and it created an incredible moment.  On the other hand, maybe our best known chant is “We Are The A”, which was created on the spot, 2 or 3 PBRs in, as Resurgence waited to march with the team in last year’s Inman Park Parade.  Jesse Mendoza came up with it, shared it with all the SGs there, and because it was so easy, it caught on immediately.  It’s sort of become our go to chant, and now you’ll hear it at the game, at the bar, anytime we’re together.  It fits who we are, “rowdy and proud”

Collier- Terminus Legion

So many chants I’ve made don’t make the cut and there are a lot of chants that other people make that don’t cut it.  It’s just part of the nature that comes with this.  Either they’re too wordy, too awkward, too obscure, etc. it’s all about what the crowd can latch on to.  Right now while we’re still starting out, our chants are kinda limited in being basic A-T-L chants, however we got some player specific chants and some more intricate chants in the pipeline for later.

Kinley- The Faction

It’s organic…

Jenkins- Footie Mob

Yeah our first chants were way too complicated. Going simple has made things flow a lot better.

Involving the chant that should be outlawed, what’s the group stance on those kinds of interaction? The team came out, almost immediately, against the chant as well…

Noffsinger- Resurgence

I assume you’re referring to the “p***” chant.  That chant was never used by any of the capos or SGs.  It was always random fans and drunk frat boys that thought it was funny.  Honestly, I think it is really catchy and easy to say, so people new to the sport who didn’t understand the meaning joined in during the first game.  I was sitting on the steps of the capo stand that first game and got a couple frantic texts from the front office saying to cut it out.  We didn’t know what they were talking about though because we couldn’t even hear it in our section.  I explained to Nermin and Michael what was happening and they worked to start alternative chants before goal kicks to try their best to mask the “p***s” being yelled.   We worked with the FO and the other SGs to agree on another chant and decided on “Hey Ya.”

Collier- Terminus Legion

TL’s stance on that chant is the same as every other group’s.  Don’t do it.  That’s not what we’re about and isn’t allowed in the supporter section.  That being said, there will still be a few people who try to ruin it for everyone else and we actively try to have them stop and if not, drown it out with other chants.

Kinley- The Faction

It’s against the MLS Code of Conduct. We don’t have any tolerance for that.

Jenkins- Footie Mob

I wish we all could have done more beforehand. I lot of people doing it had no idea what they were saying, or its meaning. We’ve seen it here before at the Gold Cup and San Jose made a video that educated people before the match to not say it. We’re a very inclusive group and don’t believe in anything that sets anyone apart from the game we all love. Everyone should be able to enjoy without being insulted on that level.

I find it interesting that a hand-out is given to fans before the match… to have even those who aren’t group members on the same page…


Are you referring to a specific handout?  We worked with the FO before the first match and sent in our top picks.  They wanted the ones we wanted (from our organizations) and they wanted us to pick a few from the chant contest.  That’s how the chants in the program came to exist.  There have been several random people passing out their own chants at games–which is actually not permitted by the FO–but RSG hasn’t had separate handouts.  FM has a couple chants on the back of a yellow card, so that’s dual purpose.

Collier-Terminus Legion

It’s the easiest way to have people all on the same page.  On, we have a bunch of chants that were recorded at M.C.E. Recordings in Cartersville GA.  The owner is a TL member and offered to donate his time and studio for us to record in.  The handout however has a hodgepodge of chants from all the supporter groups and others that have found their way to popularity.

Kinley- The Faction

The club finds that all the other clubs do it, so they do too…

Jenkins- Footie Mob

As passionate as we are, supporter culture is still very niche in many ways. The best way to get those around us involved is to help them along. The team put a chant sheet in the first match program and we always give out “Yellow Cards” with three chants on them.

A suggestion from yours truly: Can I get any help getting a “Bless Your Heart” chant on the books when an opposing player gets a red card?

Noffsinger- Resurgence

We like it, if it’s done right.  We’ve done it before, but it hasn’t caught on yet.

Collier- Terminus Legion

I LOVE the ‘Bless Your Heart’ chant!!! It’s so Atlanta and perfect for the South’s only team.  I would love to see that after reds, goals, yellows, corners, free kicks, kickoff, when the other team walks off the field in defeat, LITERALLY AT ANY TIME that chant is appropriate!!

Kevin Kinley- The Faction

I’ll refer to Footie Mob to get that done for you.

So, Curtis?

Hasn’t happened yet, but we did add that to a scarf!

Two topics down, two to go… the next editions involve one of the more colorful aspects of soccer fandom, the art of the tifo, and being active in the soccer-rich community that is the Atlanta United footprint…

What say you, Atlanta United Fan?

What do you think about the efforts of the supporters groups this season with this club? 

Sign in and let us know in the Comments Section below…