Report: NASL in Talks to Bring New Team to Atlanta

Atlanta Chiefs

by JAKE NUTTING

It was less than six months ago that the North American Soccer League made the decision to fold the Atlanta Silverbacks after a suitable ownership group could not be secured in time for the 2016 season.

Now, reports state that the league is in negotiations to come back to the market with a new group of investors.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a league source confirmed that the NASL met with investors this past week to discuss the possibility. The source did not name the group involved, but Atlanta Sports Connection posted photos of a meeting it held with commissioner Bill Peterson on its Facebook page.

Atlanta Sports Connection is a corporation aiming to construct a new sports complex that will include a 10,000 seat stadium outside of the city in Dekalb County that they hope will serve as the home of future NASL and National Women’s Soccer League teams.

The group behind the NWSL team has already been active for months now and has chosen Atlanta Vibe as its moniker. The Vibe’s website also gave a possible hint of the potential NASL team’s name when it posted that the new sports complex will host them and the “Chiefs.”

The Atlanta Chiefs were one of the founding members of the original NASL in 1968, winning the league’s first league title that year by defeating the San Diego Toros 3-0 on aggregate. The team eventually re-branded as the Atlanta Apollos after being sold in 1973, but it folded at the end of that season. A revived Chiefs team started up in 1979 before folding up shop two years later.

Moving back into Atlanta so soon after failing to find ownership for the Silverbacks, and with Major League Soccer debuting with Atlanta United in 2017 might seem an unlikely move, but Peterson asserted the league’s interest in the market just a few weeks after the Silverbacks ceased operations.

“Next week we are meeting with a group that is still very interested [in Atlanta], but they weren’t going to hit our deadline to get scheduled,” Peterson told EOS back in January. “We haven’t given up on Atlanta by any means,” Peterson said. “If the right ownership group comes back with the right plan, we would love to go back there.”

  • The Don

    I will not stand for this! I am the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of US Soccer and I and I alone shall see to it that there is only one team in Atlanta: Real Atlanta SC FC Pepsi Cola USA United SC of MLS!

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      so just exactly how are all thos independent soccer teams in the soon to be div 3 nasl working out for you and your fanboys? really really sad days for f.cosmos fansboys and their ilk. ho hum, just another day closer to the death of the nasl and the f.cosmos part 2.

  • Arenas kid

    Seriously NASL, if this dude is serious about putting a team in Atlanta then what will stop him from putting another in NY,LA, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Toronto.

  • slowleftarm

    Laughable – but then considering this league is a joke what would you expect? NASL has already failed there nice and starting next season there will be an MLS team in the city. What is the point of this? NASL should focus on markets that don’t already have a first division soccer team.

    • jimmy k

      agree with slowleft here,
      I’m no fan of Cos-shmos nasl joke minor league, but it does not even suit their interest to try to compete direct with MLS and especially in weak markets, they will just eventually fail down the road.

      They should just concentrate on markets without like Jacksonville, INDY, etc. and that will actually grow the game nationally as well, not tear it down like failure of old nasl, and seemingly new nasl as well…

      • Ground Control to Major Bob

        Stuff like that need to come with interested investors in those areas. Considering Atlanta was a NASL city first, I see no harm in them going back. It’s normal in other countries to have more than one club in one city. I would love to see a NASL team in states without a MLS club like Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Nebraska. Until they show interest, don’t expect see a club.

        • slowleftarm

          Chattanooga has an NPSL team – why not see if they’re interested in moving up? In fairness, maybe they have. But a move like that makes much more sense than trying again in Atlanta, only this with MLS as competition.

    • William

      Why doesn’t the MLS stop poaching potential NASL cities ?

      • William\’s Brain.

        Potential cities?
        Did I really says something stupid, or is I really smartish?

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      I dont think you’re paying attention slowleftarm. those 25ooo season tickets sold by atlanta united were bought by imbecilic taylor swift fans and dont mean a damn thing.

      everyone knows the 2000 people who will show up for the newest independent soccer team in atlanta are far more valuable and organic. just ask leo, he’ll tell you!

  • 5 Boroughs SC

    Aren’t the Atlanta Silverbacks now a NPSL team. No way 3 clubs can survive in the Atlanta area.

  • Nedreck

    Atlanta will have two teams. One will play with and against celebrity DPs and might even compete in the CCL.
    The other will have it’s ambitions capped.
    Will this privileged access be decide through sporting merit as FIFA requires?

    Nope. Some rich guy cut a check that let’s him take part in a cartel. He’ll also pocket some cash off of the National Teams and use those national teams to get his team on television.

    Gianni?

  • Len

    Atlanta’s a big enough market to support 2 top level teams so if there’s a group willing to start an NASL expansion club great. It has distance from the Mls franchise being in the suburbs and starting out in a 10K SSS is a big positive. Atlanta is a top media market for the USA so a plus to have them in NASL as the league moves towards D1 sanctioning in the near future. D4 Atlanta Silverbacks could be their NPSL “B” team as well.