After a two-year absence, men’s professional soccer returns to Atlanta on Saturday night. Local fans hope that this time, it is here to stay.
The Atlanta Silverbacks kick off the 2011 season with big goals in mind — both on the field and in the front office — as they play host to the NSC Minnesota Stars at 7:30 p.m. in Doraville.
The Silverbacks men will play in a new league — the North American Soccer League — and will field a brand new squad at the team’s stadium, located just north of Spaghetti Junction off I-85.
The Silverbacks believe the changes will help provide the base for an enduring and successful future — one that includes playing at the highest levels.
“Our goal is to be an MLS franchise, eventually,” Silverbacks public relations manager Neal Malone said on Thursday (Major League Soccer is the top professional division in the United States). “We know that (jumping up to the MLS) is not going to happen over the next year or two. But it is certainly one of our longer-term goals.”