ATLANTA - Atlanta will be home to Major League Soccer’s newest franchise. The inaugural season in 2017 will coincide with the opening of the new Falcons Stadium.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber made the introduction to franchise owner Arthur Blank: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Atlanta to Major League Soccer. Can’t wait for 2017!”
The 22nd franchise for Major League Soccer is rising up in metro Atlanta.
“I’m excited. Ready to go. Ready to be passionate and cheer it on to the max,” said Georgia State soccer player Washington Cafferatta.
A soccer fan fest welcomed the news in downtown Atlanta. People of all ages pledged their support to the future team.
“I’ve been playing this sport since I could barely walk,” said GSU soccer player Tyler Prince. “I’m going to be at tons of games.”
With the Braves making a move to Cobb County, football and soccer will be a sporting draw in downtown Atlanta. Just this March, 70,000 soccer fans packed the Georgia Dome when Mexico played Nigeria.
“It was crazy. It was wild. A lot different than NFL or anything like that,” said soccer fan Jason Sigmon.
The new expansion team will share the new billion dollar stadium being constructed in downtown Atlanta with Arthur Blank’s other football team, the Atlanta Falcons. But Wednesday, it was this fútbol game that got all the attention.
“All the Gold Cup games, the Mexico friendlies, it’s about time we have a team,” said soccer player and youth coach Derrick Harvey.
You don’t have to wait until 2017 to see professional soccer in Atlanta. The Atlanta Silverbacks open their season Saturday at 7:30 p.m.