NPSL will combine the South Atlantic and Southeastern Conferences into one for the 2017 season. The Atlanta Silverbacks and Georgia Revolution will move to the East division of the Southeastern Conference, where they will be joined by the Knoxville Force, FC Carolina Discoveries, and expansion-side Asheville City SC.
The West division will comprise Chattanooga FC, Memphis City FC, the Birmingham Hammers, New Orleans Jesters, and expansion-club Inter Nashville FC.
Notable absences from this realignment are the Tobacco Road FC, Myrtle Beach Mutiny, and Carolina RailHawks U23. Tobacco Road and Myrtle Beach have already been announced as PDL clubs for the 2017 season. If the Carolina RailHawks rebrand as North Carolina FC and make the move to USL (to prepare for an MLS bid), their development squad will certainly move to PDL, which is owned by USL.
Despite the loss of Conference rivals, the realignment looks promising for Atlanta-area NPSL clubs. Travel within the East Division will be affordable, which will enable clubs spend more money on the club and less on buses. The change also brings new challenges with the addition of popular West Division clubs. Chattanooga FC regularly bring thousands of fans to their home games and will provide a great atmosphere for any road trips.
Now that the new conference alignment has been finalized, the league and owners can build the 2017 schedule. The Silverbacks confirmed to DSS that the schedule will be finalized in January.