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Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge to Feature MLS Teams

January 27, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

ATLANTA (January 27, 2011) - Atlanta will have the opportunity to show its support for the sport of soccer when the Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer presents the Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge on March 9, 11, and 13, at the Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium. The challenge will feature the Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.

The Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge is an opportunity for soccer fans in the region to see MLS clubs playing for the first time in the Atlanta area. Each team will play two games over three days.

The tournament organizer is T. Fitz Johnson, owner of the Atlanta Beat which played the opening match at Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium on Sunday, May 9, 2010.

"Atlanta has shown strong support for soccer events throughout the city," said Johnson. "This is a great opportunity to see if an MLS franchise will be a good fit for the market as we host the tournament in our brand-new soccer-specific facility."

Atlanta's tourism and sports leaders have voiced their support for the tournament and are anticipating soccer fans from throughout the Southeast to be excited about the opportunity to see professional men's soccer in the region.

"Professional sports events are an important draw for the more than 34 million people who visit Atlanta each year," said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Hosting a tournament for MLS teams is the starting point to filling a void in Atlanta's current roster of professional teams and to eventually bringing the most watched sport in the world to our city."

Atlanta has a long soccer history, including the Chiefs bringing home the city's first professional championship in 1968, several recent friendly matches held at the Georgia Dome and the Atlanta Beat's 2010 inaugural season in the new soccer-specific stadium at KSU.

"Atlanta has proven that, when given the opportunity, it can host a magnificent soccer event," said Dan Corso, executive director, Atlanta Sports Council. "There is tremendous corporate support that believes strongly in supporting soccer, and metro Atlanta proudly boasts some of the most passionate soccer fans around. We look forward to hosting these three MLS clubs and know that our city will rally in support."

Atlanta CEOs and executives passionate about bringing soccer to Atlanta recently began meeting as the CEO Soccer Cabinet. Jeffrey Bowman, CEO of Crawford and Company, serves as the chairman for the group.

Said Bowman, "If Atlanta is to be all we want it to be, we need to find our spot as a global participant in soccer. We will need an MLS team to do that. It is great to have this chance to show MLS that Atlanta will be a great city for its future."

Atlanta Pro Soccer Challenge event details: - Kennesaw State Soccer Stadium is a soccer-specific venue with a capacity of 8,300

o 3200 George Busbee Pkwy NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144

o Home to the Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer - Tickets:

- Dates:

o March 9 (7:30) - Columbus vs New England

o March 11 (7:30) - Columbus vs Houston

o March 13 (TBD) - Houston vs New England

- Teams:

o Columbus Crew - One of 10 charter clubs of MLS. The Crew has won five major trophies: MLS Cup 2008, the 2004, 2008 and 2009 Supporters' Shields, and the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In 2010 the Crew were 14-8-8.

o Houston Dynamo - Moved from San Jose to Houston prior toTthe 2006 season, the Dynamowon back-to-back MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007. The club finished first in the Western Conference in 2008 and 2009.

o New England Revolution - One of 10 charter clubs of MLS. The Revolution has participated in four MLS Cups. The Revolution won the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and SuperLiga 2008.

- Ticket Prices:

o General Admission: $20

o West Sideline: $30

o Center Circle: $50

o On Field: $100

o Suite: $2,000

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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