Reports: Atlanta United mulling NWSL team, could launch as soon as 2021

Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank greets fans — 9/27/17

Atlanta United are considering launching a professional women’s team to compete in the NWSL, and may do so as soon as 2021.

That’s according to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sports Illustrated.

“We’ve had very preliminary discussions with the National Women’s Soccer League about a possible franchise in Atlanta,” Brett Jewkes, chief communications officer for Arthur M. Blank Sports and Entertainment, the Five Stripes' parent company, told the AJC’s Doug Roberson in an email on Monday.

“We are evaluating a wide-range of factors to review and consider with no definitive timetable to complete that process. The growing success and appeal of women’s soccer in America, both at the professional and amateur levels, is exciting and certainly worthy of our careful exploration.”

Launched in 2013 with eight teams and significant support from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the NWSL enjoyed a major boost from the success of the US women’s national team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

Earlier this month an expansion team operated by USL Championship club Louisville City FC was announced for 2021 and Sacramento Republic, who were welcomed to MLS as a 2022 expansion side on Oct. 21, have also been mentioned as a possible new NWSL market.

Several MLS clubs already operate NWSL teams: The Houston Dash (Houston Dynamo), Orlando Pride (Orlando City), Portland Thorns (Portland Timbers) and Utah Royals FC (Real Salt Lake).