Viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to seeing South Sudanese player Machop Chol in Major League Soccer (MLS) action for Atlanta United, as ESPN features a live match from the 2023 regular season this weekend.

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Chol is a 24-year-old forward who was born in Khartoum but emigrated to the United States with his family as a child. He played for DDYSC Wolves in Georgia before earning a spot in Atlanta United’s academy in 2016.

A year later he featured for the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, before signing his first professional contract with Atlanta United in early 2021, making his MLS debut against Orlando City in April of that year.

The 24-year-old recently scored his first MLS goal, helping Atlanta secure a 2-2 draw away to Toronto FC in April.

“I was just hoping it wasn’t offsides or anything, but it felt amazing,” Chol said of his maiden goal at the senior level. “I didn’t know what to do. It was just a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.”

After scoring, Chol found his way toward the corner flag and tore off his jersey to reveal a T-shirt that said ‘Anton Forever’ – the words a tribute to Anton Walkes, the former player with Atlanta United who passed away earlier this year.

Chol raised his hands to the sky as his teammates gathered around to congratulate him. And so, the celebration turned into a tribute: “There was no reason in particular for the phrase, I just wanted to tribute him [Anton Walkes] in any way possible,” Chol said. “We were pretty close, so it was just amazing for me, and it was emotional.”

Chol represents South Sudan at international level (he has two caps after making his debut in a friendly against Uzbekistan in January 2022) and notes that there are major similarities between the ‘Bright Stars’ and Atlanta United.

“It’s amazing, it brings tears to my eyes sometimes because I was never able to go back and visit, I was born in ’98, came here in 2000, so my first time being back home was with the national team,” Chol said.

“It’s amazing to see some of my family that my parents always talk about and everything. It’s amazing for me to represent my country.”

Chol will hope to feature strongly for Atlanta when they take on Orlando City at the Exploria Stadium on the morning of Sunday 28 May 2023, a game you can catch LIVE on ESPN.

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See Machop Chol in the following match live on ESPN:

All times CAT

Sunday 28 May 2023

01:30: MLS, Orlando City v Atlanta United – LIVE on ESPN