Atlanta MLS franchise to be called Atlanta United FC

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UPDATE: Club president Darren Eales confirmed the name to MLSsoccer.com

Atlanta’s Major League Soccer franchise isn’t schedule to enter the league until the 2017 season, but it’s just about time for the team owned by Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta Falcons (MLS) owner Arthur Blank to enter the “unveiling our identity/brand” phase of the build-up to their debut MLS season.

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On Thursday, a report by SI‘s Brian Straus shed the first bit of light on just what that identity will sound and look like. According to Straus’ report, the Atlanta MLS franchise will, unfortunately, be called Atlanta United FC.

What’s with the “unfortunately,” you ask?

First things first, it’s generic, lame and woefully overdone throughout the soccer world — particularly in the UK, which despite what many would have you believe, isn’t the end-all, be-all for soccer history, culture and quality. On a related note, what, exactly, is Atlanta United…uniting? Unless they’re merging with the NALS’s Atlanta Silverbacks (highly unlikely), it’s nothing more than a grab at relevance and relation to something — anything — in this vast soccer world.

[ RELATED: Wednesday night’s MLS roundup — 7 mid-week games and lots of goals ]

I’m painfully aware that the explanation from Blank and Co. will be “Atlanta United will unite this city under this team” when the name is made official next month. With more than a year to get the club’s identity and “brand” right, MLS’s third United (D.C. and Minnesota) is what they came up with.

For the record, most (if not all) of Twitter is in agreement with the above opinions.

In the end, does a club’s name really matter? Of course not, because we’ll all end up calling them “Atlanta” in everyday conversation. As long as the fans show up to support the team, and the product on the field is good, that’s what they should/will be judged on. But for now, while no team exists with games to be played, all we have is a name to discuss, dissect and destroy.

The club’s name will be formally introduced on July 7, along with a logo that is “thought to feature a prominent ‘A’ and the club’s red, yellow/gold and black colors.”

Advice to David Beckham: Miami United FC — because we all know it’s been considered at some point — should be shelved immediately.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore puts USMNT in front with Bicycle Kick

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Jozy Altidore put his stamp on the game and gave U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter more to speak about with one fell swing.

Altidore finished off a corner kick in spectacular fashion, executing a perfect bicycle kick to put the USMNT up 1-0 in the 66th minute. The goal came one minute after the entrance of Christian Pulisic, which perhaps was on the mind of the Panama defense.

It was Altidore’s second-straight game vs. Panama with a goal. His last two were in October 2017, when the U.S. pummeled Panama, 4-0. Of course, a few days later, a tired USMNT failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.

[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]

Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.

Benfica: Atletico Madrid make $143 million bid for Felix

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The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.

The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.

[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]

Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.

If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.