U.S. Soccer is building headquarters in Atlanta, the federation announced Friday as part of a relocation plan highlighted by a first-ever designated National Training Center.
Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank will contribute $50 million to the facility, which will serve as the hub of U.S. Soccer's operations, including all 27 affiliated national teams. The National Training Center's exact site/location will be known by January 2024.
“U.S. Soccer’s new National Training Center will serve as a symbol of ambition and aspiration for all soccer players in our country for generations to come,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“Arthur Blank and Atlanta United, along with countless fans and many public and private partners, have shown that Atlanta has become a true soccer city and will be the perfect home for our federation. For everyone who has believed in soccer in America, today is another historic day."
Part of Blank's donation will specifically be used to provide facilities for US Soccer's nine extended national teams (ENTs), particularly in support of the cerebral palsy (CP), deaf and power soccer national teams. Blank will also fund soccer-focused non-profits in Metro Atlanta while supporting initiatives that grow the game across the country, most notably women’s youth national team camps and women’s coaching and mentorship initiatives.
The National Training Center will also host youth tournaments and conferences in addition to serving as a "gathering place for the broader soccer ecosystem," per a federation statement.
“America’s top athletes deserve the best when it comes to preparing them for competition on the global stage and I’m thrilled U.S. Soccer has chosen Metro Atlanta as its new home," said Blank, whose ATLUTD launched in 2017 and won MLS Cup in 2018, often playing before massive Mercedes-Benz Stadium crowds.
“Atlanta’s incredible passion for soccer, corporate community and unmatched infrastructure make this a natural home for the National Training Center, and I’m very confident our community will help America’s finest soccer players compete on a global level like never before."
For her part, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone stated: “This National Training Center will accelerate the growth of soccer in this country and will represent a commitment to developing elite soccer players for decades to come.
“Investing in youth and adult programs as well as our extended national teams reflects our commitment to ensuring that players of all ages and backgrounds can find a home and thrive in this sport. These investments are a signal to our players, coaches, referees, members and fans that the future of U.S. Soccer is bright.”
The move to Atlanta comes amid a massive period of growth and expansion for U.S. Soccer, which will co-host the FIFA 2026 World Cup alongside Canada and Mexico. The 2024 Copa América tournament will also take place in the United States.
"It puts us on par with the elite in international soccer," Zimmerman said. "And I think as a player, when you hear that slogan, ‘One Nation. One Team,’ to know that you’re going to be training at the same place as all the other national teams – the women’s team, the CP team, the beach national teams, the youth national teams – I think it’s going to be inspiring for the youth players to get a chance to train at a new center where they can see first team players and get a chance to interact every now and then and see that’s what they’re striving for.
"It’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility and something I think we should all be really excited about.”