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MLS confirms expansion to Atlanta, Falcons' owner awarded franchise

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Atlanta will now become the second city to have both MLS and NASL clubs

Aaron Davidson

Major League Soccer confirmed today that they'll be expanding into an NASL market in 2017. Atlanta will be getting an MLS side to play in their shiny new NFL stadium, but it doesn't appear that it will be the Atlanta Silverbacks, as MLS awarded the club to Falcons' owner Arthur Blank.

The Silverbacks will presumably remain in the NASL, and continue to play at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds for them, as that franchise hasn't appeared to be all that healthy financially to begin with. The three seasons between now and then will be fascinating as well, as it's not impossible to believe that impending expansion could drum up interest in Eric Wynalda's side in the short term.

This isn't the only soccer news making the rounds today in Atlanta, as the Silverbacks' primary supporters group, the Atlanta Ultras, were given a three match stadium ban to start the 2014 spring season. While the Ultras have earned a bad reputation around the league for their generally dreadful behavior, this particular sanction appears to stem from their actions prior to the Soccer Bowl last November.