Atlanta United President Darren Eales will give the Westminster Class of 2019 Commencement address this spring.
Eales was named president of the organization in September 2014. As the first President of Atlanta United, Eales led the club in its record-breaking 2017 inaugural campaign which is widely considered one of the most accomplished seasons in MLS history, both on and off the field. In addition to assembling the club’s front office and the development and integration of the club’s brand identity, Eales led its on-field progression, hiring integral members to join the technical staff, led by Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. Under this leadership, Atlanta United became the first expansion team to qualify for MLS Cup Playoffs since 2009 and just the second since 1998. In addition, Eales led the club’s development of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground as well as the club’s transition into its new home Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a world-class multi-use sports and entertainment complex.
Following a record-breaking inaugural season, Eales led Atlanta United to even greater heights in 2018. The club won its first MLS Cup in front of a record crowd of 73,019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The club surpassed the one million mark for fans attending home matches in 2018. Atlanta owns each of the top 10 most attended matches in league history, and including playoff matches, its average attendance of 55,278 ranked 13th worldwide against the 2016-17 global season, surpassing teams such as Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, and Liverpool.
Since joining Atlanta, Eales has twice been named the Doug Hamilton MLS Executive of the Year.
Prior to his role with Atlanta United, he was the executive director of the world-renowned English Premier League team, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. During his four-year tenure with Spurs, the team qualified for European competition every season, reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League in 2011, and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League in 2013.
Class of 2019 Commencement
Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. The ceremony will take place on Pressly Plaza on Westminster's campus (rain location, Turner Gym).