MLS NEXT Pro today announced Atlanta United as one of seven MLS clubs to launch teams in MLS NEXT Pro, joining the league for the 2023 season. Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the pro player pathway.
Atlanta United will join Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club, and New York Red Bulls as the new MLS clubs to launch MLS NEXT Pro Teams in 2023. Complete details will be announced in the coming months. The new teams will join the 20 MLS-affiliated clubs and one independent club, Rochester New York FC, currently competing in MLS NEXT Pro.
With 21 clubs, the league currently consists of two conferences with two divisions each. Teams play 24 matches (12 home/12 away) across 26 weeks, with eight teams qualifying for the playoffs at the end of the regular season. With the addition of seven clubs next season, adjustments to the competition and scheduling formats for 2023 will be announced at a later date.
Atlanta United 2 has played at the professional level since 2018. Six players have earned contracts with the first team in that time, including current Atlanta United defender Aiden McFadden. The team has provided a platform for youth talent to take the next step in their development and has aided in the growth of current first-team players like Miles Robinson, George Campbell and Caleb Wiley.