An ownership group is interested in bringing an NASL team to Atlanta, according to a spokesman with the league who asked to remain anonymous because discussions are in the early stages.
The spokesman declined to name the ownership group or the people within the group, but NASL commissioner Bill Peterson met with the Atlanta Sports Connection earlier this week and posed for photos. The website dirtysouthsoccer.com wrote about Peterson’s meeting with Atanta Sports Connection on Friday.
Another person in the photo was Andy Smith, who was president of the Silverbacks, which were members of the NASL until the team ceased operations in January. Smith didn't return a voicemail message left on his phone.
Atlanta Sports Connection is planning a large complex, called the Sports Center, that will be built on Panola Road.
The Vibe, a women's soccer team trying to gain entry into the NWSL, posted on its website details about the complex, and referenced a team called the Chiefs, which may be the proposed NASL's team's name. Trey Brantley, one of the people trying to start the Vibe, declined to comment.
The Chiefs were members of the original NASL in the late 1960s and early ’70s. They were the first professional sports teams in Atlanta to win a league title.
The NASL has been pursuing aggressive expansion. Putting this franchise in the same market as an MLS team, Atlanta United, would be another signal of intent that the league wants to compete with MLS.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com