U.S. Soccer is getting a new home.
The federation announced Friday it will build a national team training facility in Atlanta that will be home to all 27 national teams and their staffs. U.S. Soccer also will relocate its headquarters there from Chicago, where it has been based since 1991.
The facility is designed to centralize all operations, similar to what many other countries have, in hopes of stimulating progress and growth. Players will have a permanent and dedicated space for training, development, recovery and performance analysis, and coaches from different programs being in the same space should also promote collaboration on best practices for training and game management.
Being based in Atlanta, which has one of the world’s largest airports, will also make travel easier on U.S. players who are based overseas. Most of the USMNT’s players are with European clubs, as are USWNT co-captain Lindsey Horan, Tokyo Olympian Catarina Macario and up-and-comer Mia Fishel.
Arthur Blank, who owns Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, is contributing $50 million to the project. The money is specifically earmarked for construction of the facilities for the extended national teams, including the cerebral palsy and deaf national teams.
It also will help support training camps for the women’s youth teams, as well as coaching and membership programs. The need to make these a point of emphasis took on added urgency at the World Cup, where the USWNT made its earliest exit ever at a major international tournament.
The two-time defending champions lost to Sweden on penalty kicks in the round of 16.
“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,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “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.”
U.S. Soccer is currently searching for a site for the training center, with a decision expected to be announced in January.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US Soccer to build national team training center in Atlanta