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Major League Soccer awards expansion team to Atlanta

April 16, 2014|By Jim Peltz
  • Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, smiles during a news conference Wednesday to announce that Atlanta will receive a Major League Soccer franchise. Blank will be the new team's owner.
Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, smiles during a news conference… (David Goldman / Associated…)

Major League Soccer on Wednesday awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which would begin play in 2017.

It is the third expansion club announced by MLS, which currently has 19 teams, in the last year. The others are New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club, which are expected to start play next year.

The Atlanta team will be owned by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and play in a stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta that also would be the Falcons' new home.

"We are going to build a first-class organization on and off the field that will be a source of pride for the entire community," Blank said in a statement.

 MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement that "Arthur is deeply passionate about soccer and our quest to become one of the top professional soccer leagues in the world."

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