The Atlanta Silverbacks announced today their return to Division 2 Soccer. Only instead of returning to the USL, from which they left in 2009, they officially join the NASL. That’s not the only thing that has changed. Boris Jerkunica announced a joint venture with Traffic USA to help manage the cost of club ownership. This partnership enables NASL to meet the required eight teams needed to be sanctioned by USSF. Traffic USA owns Miami FC, soon to called The Strikers, of the NASL and several other professional sports teams.
The first game is scheduled to be played at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on April 9, 2011 against NSC Minnesota Stars. In all the Silverbacks will host 14 regular season home games next year. Traditionally bring on a new coach and finding players would be a difficult task with only 4 month’s till kickoff. However, with the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps making the leap to MLS they are leaving several of their players behind. Additionally, there are at least two teams, AC St. Louis and Crystal Palace Baltimore, that competed in 2010 that will not return in 2011.
“After working five year to create a league that is team-owner controlled and managed we are thrilled that USSF has sanctioned the NASL and we are excited to get back to playing soccer again,” said Boris Jerkunica, Chairman of the Atlanta Silverbacks.
Many questions still remain unanswered but we hope to find out more in the coming weeks and months. To see the official announcement please click here.
So what are your questions for the Silverbacks? Do you think the fans will come back strong after the hiatus or do you think the departure has created a resentment that will take time to win fans back?