Welcome to my Blog!

          Hi everybody and welcome to my blog. This is really me, Julian, writing this and I really hope that this platform becomes another way for me to share some experiences throughout my career with all of you, the fans. Through this blog, I will try and tell different stories, give my opinion on certain topics, answer and ask different questions, and just hope to provide a more in-depth look into what is happening in my life. I like this outlet because it really gives me a chance to be in full control of what I say and how I say it and it also provides an opportunity to become even more accessible. I understand that as a professional athlete my words can be powerful and I can take full advantage of that here. Therefore, please share your opinions by leaving comments and sharing on social media. From time to time I might respond to certain comments or even dive a bit deeper with a full post if something very interesting comes up. With all of that in mind, the first post can only be about one topic, YOU!

         As many of you know and hopefully see, I am a guy that tries to have a very close relationship with the fans. This might be because I have been in your shoes, I know how it feels to stand behind the goal singing and cheering on the team you support with almost everything you have. I know how it feels to watch your team play on TV and be shaking because of excitement and nervousness. I feel that as a player I want to always keep that in mind and also give back some of it to show my appreciation, and honestly, it is also fun for me. I have played in front of 10, 20, or just 50 people before and I promise all of you that it is so much better to play in front of 70k+. It is not just that, however, it goes so much further than just filling the stadium. Would we have been able to make the playoffs in our inaugural season or win MLS Cup in our second year of existence? I am a big believer in the fact that your support holds everybody at Atlanta United to a higher standard – from the highest ranked people in the club down to the youth academy and that has had a lot to do with why we have been so successful on the field. With my actions, I am just trying to show my appreciation for all of you and say thank you for all you do for us players and our whole club. 

          When I first got to Atlanta, it was a very exciting time for me. Being drafted and fulfilling the dream of becoming a professional soccer player was such a great experience by itself. However, I have always been a person that looks further, so I told myself to not be caught up in the fact that I made it to this point. I told myself to not change and come to Atlanta, work hard on the field to be able to play and take the next step quickly. Next thing you know, my family is in town and I am in the starting 11 for our inaugural match against the New York Red Bulls. That day was special! Not just for me I can imagine, probably for a lot of you, too. A couple weeks go by and all I can see on social media is my new nickname ‘GRESSELMANIA’. At first I was kind of blown away by the fact that you came up with a nickname for me after only playing in three games for the club and as a professional. It was a big honor for me, even though I was not quite sure of how to interpret it. Was I playing too physical? Do I look like a wrestler out there? Honestly, I am not a big wrestling fan and did not really know what to make of it at first. I kind of just told myself to see it as a positive thing and keep doing what I was doing on the field because it has worked all preseason and the first few weeks of the season. As it continued throughout the season and until today, it has become something that makes me very proud. To have supporters create something for you in that way is special. From the chant, to signs, and all the different kinds of shirts, it is a real privilege to have that unique nickname created by all of you! 

          Throughout my time here in Atlanta, I have been able to meet a lot of supporters. If that is after games, at official appearances, or me walking through midtown, it is always nice to be able to connect with fans. I am not going to lie, especially at appearances it can get a bit overwhelming sometimes when you meet so many people in such a short amount of time. However, it never gets old seeing the big smiles people have when they come up and when they share their unique story about what connects them to Atlanta United or an experience they may have had at a game. These interactions are special and it really shows how much this city and this club means to everybody. So please, if you ever see me and are not sure if you should come up to me or not, do it. 

         I thought it was only fitting to start this blog with a bit of an appreciation post for all of you. It has been a great experience and a lot of fun to be part of Atlanta United from the very beginning and it has definitely been better than I could have ever imagined. I thank you all for that and hope that we can continue on this path, obviously with a lot of success on the field, too. Again, I hope this blog is going to be a fun way for me to voice my opinions and becomes another way for all of you to feel even more connected to the club and us players.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    Hey, Julian! I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much it means to fans like me that you are so receptive and accessible. It makes the United environment even more special for you and the other guys to be so gracious to us. Thank you for all you do, and I look forward to many blogs coming our way! By the way, I hope the ankle is recovering well!

      1. Gresselmania24

        Thanks for the tip! Just as a reminder, though, English isn’t my first language 🙂

  2. grace dunn

    jullian, i just wanted to let you know how much you truly mean to me. you inspire me everyday to keep working towards my goals. you are 100% my favorite player on atlanta united and i come to the games just to see you!!!! keep it up jullian! we love you!!!

  3. Miranda

    Awesome! This is another great example of how connected the organization and players are to the fans as we the fans are to you. You’re my wifes favorite player, and she insisted on getting a Gressel Stars and Stripes kit this year (happy anniversary gift to her). Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet you at some point this season so she can maybe get it signed. Looking forward to more blogs, good luck this year and we’ll be singing along in the SS!

  4. Kathryn Chamberlain

    I love it!!! You’re the best!! One more way for me to keep up with my favorite player!!!

  5. Alison Grace Schwab

    Hi Julian! I hope you’re healing well. Looking forward to reading the blog this season.

  6. Alison

    Hi Julian! I hope you’re healing well. Looking forward to reading the blog this season.

  7. Jaimie Robertson

    I think it’s great that you have a blog. Some things I’d like to read about are maybe walking us through an important play, whether it turned out like you wanted it to or not. How do you stay focused for the whole 90 minutes? Do you feel more pressure now than when you started, or do you feel like you’re more confident, or both?

    I’ve really been impressed by you, and I look forward to following your career.

    1. Gresselmania24

      I’ll try and incorporate some of that here and there. Thank you!

  8. Todd

    Thanks for being such a great role model and ambassador for Atlanta. You are such a talented player and this just goes to show your great character on and off the field. Looking forward to another exciting year!

    P.S. You’re my wife’s favorite player lol

  9. Chase Townsend

    Hey brother, look forward to keeping up with the blog. You’re an inspiration to all of us. I hope full health is in the picture for tomorrow as you know I’ll be there, loud and rowdy for the home opener.

  10. Amy

    We love you, 24! Thanks for the blog. I look forward to keeping up with you and following along.

  11. Emanuel

    Nice blog, it’ll be awesome to read some cool stories from on and off the pitch. how are you feeling? I’m Ready to see you back on the field! #vamosATL #GRESSELMANIA

  12. JB

    You’re absolutely invaluable to our wing man. Watching you play your European roots on American turf gives me hope for the future of American soccer. #rightwingisthebest

  13. Devin Robertson

    Hope you’re recovering well, and to see you back on the field soon! You guys are a huge part of the reason I’ve gone on to love this sport, and it means a lot that even with so many players and staff and 75k+ fans, it still feels like a close community. Silly question that you don’t have to answer, but I’ve been watching Bundesliga as well, do you still follow German football and do you have a favorite team? Looking forward to all your thoughts and updates!

  14. John Payne


    You’re one of the most beloved people in the organization and truly embodied what Atlanta United is as well as what #UniteAndConquer stands for!
    Win lose or draw the 17’s will always have your back!

  15. Steve

    I will never forget you grabbing the trophy and running to the supporters. You have become one of us.

  16. Amanda Morgan

    I love how you love the fans! You have been my favorite player since the inaugural match. Rest up and we look forward to seeing you back on the pitch!

  17. Robyn Saghini

    It’s been so much fun watching you on the field the last couple of years. The fact that you always acknowledge the fans no matter the result of the game is only part of the reason you’re a big fan favorite. My favorite memory of you will always be you grabbing the Eastern Conf Champions trophy am running over to lift it in front of the fans at RBA last year. I was in that crowd and crying with joy and pride (I’m actually tearing up writing this now, too!). I’m so glad you’ve made Atlanta your home and I hope you stay here and continue to grow and excel at ATLUTD for many years to come. ❤️????

  18. Josh Salas

    Hey man! Awesome idea with the blog. What a cool way to connect with your fans! As a fan, we’ve got access to endless stats and “best of” videos online so it’s quite difficult to ask a question we couldn’t otherwise find if we just started down the Instagram/YouTube wormhole, as it is. My question to you is (because you know what it’s like being a fan), what is that one question you’ve always wanted to ask your idol about their success or work ethic? And as a follow up, how would you answer if we asked you the very same question?
    Best of luck, my friend! See you guys Wednesday for Monterrey!

  19. Saima

    Man this made me appreciate you even more. So glad and grateful that I get to watch you every week!!! ????⚫️????

  20. Daniele

    I don’t think anyone answered your question here about Gresselmania. Have you gotten an answer? We are simple folk – your name rhymes. Take out wrestle, put in Gressel. We liked the sound of it. Gresselmania is our “crazy” (mania) support of you as a player. Hope that helps!

  21. Biggs

    Julian, thanks very much for doing this. I’ve met you a few times at events and you are a class act. We love your work rate, passion for the game, and versatility. Thanks also for the last 2 seasons’ worth of exciting football, and yeah, what you did with the Eastern Conference trophy and the MLS Cup for us fans was truly memorable. Stay healthy, and let’s win some more hardware! Keep bombing down that wing!

  22. Kevin

    Love watching your pinpoint crosses, Julian. Must be nice to have someone there like Josef to capitalize on your sweet assist!!!

  23. Cheryl

    I love that you are doing a blog! I can’t wait to read about your views and opinions as a player. You are a phenemonal player and I hope you continue to play for Atlanta for many years to come!!!

  24. Paul

    Julian, du bist der Beste. Ihre Energie und Herangehensweise an das Spiel ist wunderbar. Als Dauerkartenbesitzer ist es eine Freude, Ihnen beim Spielen zuzusehen. Ich bin stolz darauf, dein Trikot zu tragen. Deutsch ist übrigens nicht meine Muttersprache. Meine Schwiegermutter kommt aus Karlsruhe.

  25. Abby Shiffman

    I am so glad you are doing this! I have been lucky enough to donate my Faction Scarf that you received last June when you were Man of the Match…and you were kind enough last fall to autograph not only the picture I printed out but you wanted me to have all of the pictures you brought for my son’s 21st birthday….it meant a lot since he is playing in college at a small NAIA school, was recovering from meningitis and didnt get to play much this past season (his Jr. year)….Glad you are coaching the Unified Team (Great being at the signing ceremony) & looking forward to seeing your posts!
    Thank you in advance!!! Abster65

  26. Steven

    This is awesome Julian. I am going to address the Gresselmania piece a little more. Yes, it rhymes. But I think it fits for a few reasons. 1. Wrestling fans are nuts about their wrestling. We are nuts about ATL UTD. Fans come out in droves and so do we. 2. When you think of wrestling and fans of it and fans of the wrestlers who get the headline fight at Wrestlemania you know that those dudes are bada**. When we watch you play we see your passion, we feel how much you care about the game, your fans, Atlanta, your team, winning, participating in build up, your inability to take off a play, your ability to play anywhere and willingness to learn a new role when the team needs you to. You are the culmination of a guy who just wants to be in the 11 and will do anything to get there. You are a guy who I want my kid to look up to when it comes to being a player, a man of the fans, and man of the team, and just an all around guy. You have always been just about playing, winning, and including us. So yeah, the name rhymes but at the end of the day you have become the guy on the club that deserves a nickname. That’s why you will have people reading your blog and why I and so many others wear Gressel 24 on my kit.

    1. Gresselmania24

      I appreciate it! Say hi to your kids for me.

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