In Caitlin Murray’s piece on FOX Sports, National Women’s Soccer League commissioner Jeff Plush said that the league is looking to expand its footprint from its current ten teams. Atlanta has had a group chasing a NWSL club for a few years now, the Atlanta Vibe. In regards to Atlanta, Murray said:
“An investment group in Atlanta has publicly expressed interest but it seems like a good bet that future NWSL teams will be tied to MLS.”
The Vibe have been public in their desire for a NWSL franchise since early 2015. Trey Brantley has been the spokesperson of a group working with Atlanta investment firm Southfund Partners to secure a place in the league. They have been linked to playing their matches at Silverbacks Park, and later to a proposed development in DeKalb County that could also host a North American Soccer League franchise.
Nothing has been posted by the Vibe publicly since May 24 on their Facebook page.
NWSL clubs connected to MLS have been successful, with Orlando and Houston being the most recent expansion teams. The Orlando Pride, Houston Dash, and Portland Thorns are the top three NWSL teams in attendance. The strong ownership groups associated with MLS clubs, along with the connected infrastructure, make for a successful foundation to launch a professional women’s club.
Atlanta United has not spoken publicly about the possibility of starting a NWSL club, but it appears that the league could be hoping for that call.