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Atlanta Silverbacks could live on in USL or NPSL

New York Cosmos

The Atlanta Silverbacks are no longer a part of the North American Soccer League, but according to Doug Robertson of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, that doesn't mean that the Silverbacks name will cease to exist as well. Robertson suggests that we could still see a team using the same name playing in either USL or the NPSL, as the owners of the Silverbacks moniker won't rule out the possibility of joining one of the lower tiers.

When I first read the news, I had some interesting initial thoughts on the situation, depending on where the Silverbacks eventually wind up. Should the club wind up in USL, that would obviously open up the avenue of partnering with Atlanta United FC, the MLS expansion franchise that will begin play in 2017. United, however, have recently announced a partnership with the Charleston Battery of USL, likely making a future connection with the Atlanta-based side unlikely.

The other possibility of joining the NPSL sets up all sorts of interesting NASL related scenarios. Obviously, it's possible to imagine a scenario where the club's ownership is eventually sorted, and the side returns to the second tier after a short stint in the lower division. They'd also face quite a few NASL reserve sides if they dropped to the fourth tier, as most of the clubs in Florida have followed the Cosmos' lead and formed a NPSL affiliate.

Regardless, it's good to read that the Silverbacks name may not disappear, even if the NASL side does, as it's a unique name with a backstory that's worth keeping around.