Atlanta United to launch MLS NEXT Pro squad in 2023

Atlanta United one of seven clubs launching squads in 2023
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:26 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Atlanta United announced it will launch an MLS NEXT Pro squad next year. MLS NEXT Pro is a development league owned by MLS in the third tier of the American soccer ladder. Atlanta United 2, the club’s reserve team, currently play in the second tier’s USL Championship.

The league is designed as an easy way for players in MLS academies to have a path to the first team. The lower rungs of the American soccer ladder are constantly in flux. Teams and leagues appear and fold seemingly on a whim. MLS NEXT Pro hopes to bring a certain stability to the system, not unlike the NBA G League.

MLS NEXT Pro launched this year with 21 teams: 20 owned by MLS clubs and the independent Rochester New York FC. Other clubs bringing squads to the league in 2023 are Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club and New York Red Bulls. The addition of seven clubs will greatly change the scheduling of the league, which will be announced at a later date.