The Atlanta Silverbacks’ days as an NASL club are over, but the team’s days as a professional soccer franchise appear set to continue.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Silverbacks name owner Boris Jerkunica says that he and his group of partners are exploring the option of starting a team in either the USL or NPSL following the NASL club’s demise. In addition, there have been discussions regarding the start of a women’s team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
According to Jerkunica, the option of playing in the USL or NPSL would prove more sustainable for the club due to the lower operating costs than those of the NASL. Jerkunica says operating costs in the NPSL do not exceed $200,000, while expenses in the USL are also cheaper than in the team’s prior league.
“We are looking for a sustainable model where the team pays for itself and doesn’t require the ownership group to continue to put money in,” Jerkunica said.
“A significant portion of the fans that come to watch don’t care whether they are watching ‘college’ players or ‘pro’ players as long as the fan experience is the same,” Jerkunica wrote to the AJC. “In fact, they have come to really affiliate with the Silverbacks and would like to see a sustainable plan going forward.”
If the Silverbacks were to make a move to the USL, it appears an affiliation with the soon-to-start Atlanta United would not come with it in the immediate future. Atlanta United, which will begin MLS play in 2017, recently announced a one-year partnership with the Charleston Battery.
Jerkunica maintains ownership of the Silverbacks name, which was not sold to the league ahead of the 2015 season. After operating the club this past season, the NASL announced on Jan. 11 that it was suspending the operation of the Silverbacks.
What do you think of the idea of the Silverbacks featuring in the USL or NPSL? Which league would be a good fit for the club?
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