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.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. West Ham, Man City v. Wolves

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Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers aim to collect a bit of silverware on the second Premier League Asia Trophy match day of the summer.

But first, a pair of Uniteds look to get off the map after beatdowns in their tournament openers.

Newcastle United and West Ham United were both walloped in Nanjing, and old hands Steve Bruce and Manuel Pellegrini would be happy to massage a victory out of their men.

Then Pep Guardiola and PL champions City get a taste of Wolves before their Oct. 5 meeting in league play.

Below is the full schedule for Saturday’s games in Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium.

Newcastle United v. West Ham United – 5 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. Wolves – 7:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

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Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.

From Marca.com:

Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.