Well, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the ADASL of late, but we still have plenty of great content on the league to post.
So then, hiatus begone! The ADASL is back at SmallWorld.
Just in time, as well, since both of the Atlanta-based league’s divisions are headed into some exciting matchdays that will decide promotion/relegation, title winners, and final chances for each club to finish the season with some momentum.
I was able to get in touch with a few of these clubs to see how they’re run, what the culture looks like, and how the ADASL has helped them grow into what they are today.
First up to see the spotlight is Potros FC of Division 2. The club is coming off of a 6-0 win last Sunday and sits at the top of the table, in prime position for a promotion to the top flight next year.
Christopher Uranga, co-manager of the club, gave a bit of background on who Potros is and how it came about.
Potros FC was established originally in 2016 as a U19 youth team.As the core players of the U19 team graduated to adult status, we recognized that the talent was there to continue growing and competing for major titles. Despite our young foundation, the culture is based around our goals of winning championships. However, another one of our goals is to play attractive soccer and be an example for other amateur clubs in Atlanta.Christopher Uranga, Co-Manager of Potros FC
That’s a pretty cool culture to build a club around, and seemingly a squad that could grow to do great things in years to come in the ADASL. But Christopher wasn’t done explaining the culture of Potros:
We don’t only want to win games and be champions, we want to look good and be an example for other clubs in the process. This affects the culture of the club because there is an expectation for its members to represent the club well. Those who follow the expectations have a similar mindset which translates to results on the field. They all buy in to the philosophy of the club.Christopher Uranga
However, in order to really get a feel for a club’s culture, you have to get input from a player. So what did SmallWorld do? We got input from a player. Like a boss. (we don’t know what that means either, but we feel like the cool kids say it)
Potros is committed to improving on and off the field every single week. Our coach pushes us to put limits every training session. He doesn’t tolerate any mistakes on and off the field. I personally believe this is the most professional team in this league.Peter Ayo-Ajibike, the guy whose last name you’re asked to spell in the last round of a spelling bee
So the players agree; Potros stands for professionalism. But how has the ADASL been a part of that development?
I was actually shocked to see how much talent there is in this league. Our first season we did good but underestimated a lot of teams in this league. So we’ve learned from our mistakes from the first season and now we are not only undefeated but the best defensive team in the league.Peter
That’s fantastic stuff. Not only do they have potential on the field, but they’ve also got a winning mentality off the field. With that combination, it’s no surprise that Potros is in the pole position in Division 2 this year.
For an idea of where Potros might find themselves in the future, one needs only travel south to Atlanta proper, where Joubert Berger has been quietly running one of the Atlanta area’s best local soccer clubs.
Majestic SC has been around for multiple decades, and their reach in the ADASL is widespread. Eventually, they fielded three different teams, and they currently have a side in both Division 1 and Division 2.
Joubert was kind enough to share what led him to Majestic:
I started playing with the Majestics in 1985. Then about 10-15 years later, I started managing the team. At that time we were just one team playing in the second division. It was always our goal to promote to D1. Once we promoted, we decided to create the Majestic club and have a team in both D1 & D2.Joubert Berger, manager of Majestic SC
That’s the kind of thirst for growth that creates quality, and Majestic didn’t disappoint in that category.
The idea was always that the lower team was able to support the upper team. The Majestic D1 team has won the league three times and I can say with 100% certainty that we would not have won some of those championship titles without the support of our D2 & D3 teams. While the D1 team technically won the titles, the only reason they could was because of the club.Joubert Berger
This is promotion and relegation soccer working at its best. What a way to take advantage of having a close-knit culture and create chanpionships out of it. And I think Joubert sums it up pretty well.
We have players that have played with the Majestic Club for 20+ years. As the players moved on, we still stay in contact. What stood out for me were the players, the people. They were nice and welcoming people. And that is what I have experienced these 35 years. Over and over again, I have met some of the nicest people. It is what keeps me at this club.Joubert
Majestic currently sits at the top of Division 1, five points clear of second and third place in what should be one of the best title races in lower-league soccer this year.
Moving out to Buckhead, there’s a brand-new club that already has aspirations of reaching the summit of the ADASL.
Buckhead SC is their name, and they have a pretty intriguing story in their first year in the league.
I had been a player in the ADASL for 5-6 years with two different clubs. I learned a lot from the managers I worked with and decided to use those experiences to build a team from scratch. I started with the free agents list on the ADASL site and Facebook ads and built a competitive team.Silviu Raducu, Buckhead SC manager
We’re in the league to win games, have fun, and hopefully give some exposure to young talented players who are looking to play at a higher level.
Silviu wasn’t lying about the competitiveness of his team; Buckhead sits in the top half of the table of Division 2 after 14 games, quite the feat for an all-new team.
And what do all these clubs have in common? Their love and appreciation for the league. Person after person told me about what made the ADASL a great league for them, and here are some of the highlights of what they said.
I think it is very awesome to be playing in the ADASL. I have played soccer at all levels in my years as a player, and it makes me very happy to be playing in such a competitive league. I believe that the promotion/relegation system really puts a huge impact on team’s heart and effort in games.Jordan Davis, Buckhead SC striker and 2nd-leading scorer in Division 2
The ADASL made Potros as a whole a better team truthfully speaking.Peter Ayo-Ajibike, Potros FC player
I like that the ADASL is a well organized league that provides a competitive, yet fun, environment for adult soccer in Atlanta. I enjoyed playing in the league at 27 and I enjoy it just as much at 35.Silviu Raducu, Buckhead SC manager
Although the resources needed to join the league were more demanding, we found the investment worth it in the end. More than anything, we were attracted to the organization of the league. The ADASL was such a step up that we had no doubt that it was a good option for us to show our level.Christopher Uranga, Potros FC manager
And neither does SmallWorld have any doubt that the ADASL is a great organization doing great things for Atlanta-area soccer. Months ago, we covered the ADASL’s history and why it matters to lower-league soccer. Before that, we posted about the ADASL’s knockout competition, Perrin Cup (which has now reached the quarterfinals and is getting pretty intriguing).
Now, everything has come full circle as we chronicle what the league means to the individuals involved in it. I personally am proud to claim the ADASL as a league representing my home state, and I’m even more proud to say that SmallWorld has been able to work with and document some of the great things the ADASL is up to.
But SmallWorld isn’t about my opinion; it’s about that of the community. What are your thoughts on the ADASL? If you like what you’ve read, make sure to keep up with their season on their website and give them some love on SmallWorld Social!
As always, watch local soccer, seek out diversity, and unify those around you!