U.S. Soccer announces moving national training center, headquarters to Atlanta

The announcement was made on Friday.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:25 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - U.S. Soccer is bringing its national training center and headquarters to Atlanta, they announced Friday.

U.S. Soccer announced that it plans to build the first-ever designated National Training Center in the region.

“This is a once-in-a-generation moment for soccer in the U.S. Together, we will all transform soccer in our country. And Atlanta is the perfect place to embark on this journey,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Cone said at a Saturday press conference


“The facility will serve as headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation, creating a central hub for the entire soccer community, including coaches and referees, to access best-in-class training, technology and infrastructure to promote successful and sustainable playing environments throughout the country,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “For players, the National Training Center will provide the best environment, guaranteeing uninterrupted access to elite infrastructure for training, development, recovery and performance analysis — cultivating expertise and excellence in the sport on an international level.”

U.S. Soccer said that Atlanta United and Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank has provided the initial funding of $50 million for the move. Blank is also the co-founder of The Home Depot.

Support from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation will also “provide community programming to benefit soccer-focused nonprofits in metro Atlanta, including Soccer in the Streets and GA 100 partners, that provide access, training and expert coaching opportunities to underserved communities,” they said in a 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,” Blank said. “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. I’m also pleased to help U.S. Soccer with community outreach and soccer development among underserved communities as part of our contribution and know that it will benefit scores of young people through engagement with the beautiful game for generations to come.”

On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp applauded the decision.

“Georgia is proud to welcome U.S. Soccer’s new headquarters and looks forward to working alongside them to build a new home for American soccer players and fans,” Kemp said Friday. “From hosting visitors to training the next generation of athletes, we’re glad that this project will create new opportunities for local businesses and hardworking Georgians.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation “oversees the training and competition of the women’s and men’s national teams, the development of youth players, referee training, and growth of soccer’s popularity in the United States,” according to the release. All 27 of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams will use the facility.

On Saturday, an official announcement and press conference will be held hours ahead of the Atlanta United match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the team will take on the world’s greatest soccer player -- Lionel Messi with Inter Miami CF.

The Benz will also play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2026 where hundreds of thousands of soccer fans from all over the world will flock to the city.

“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,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “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.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said there is no better place for this.

“Atlanta is a sports town — and just like soccer in America, we are dynamic, diverse and passionate. There is no better place for this sport to call home during such a critical time,” he said. “On behalf of the people of Atlanta, we are extremely honored to welcome U.S. Soccer to our community and look forward to this new partnership and our city becoming even more of a soccer destination than it already is.”