Atlanta United to play 12 of first 20 games on road

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ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta United will play 12 of their first 20 games on the road before their debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 30.

The MLS expansion team will use Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium as its temporary home until the $1.5 billion, retractable-roof stadium is completed. The first sporting event at the new facility will be the United's game against Orlando.

Atlanta, which is joining the league along with Minnesota United, opens the season against the New York Red Bulls on March 5 at Georgia Tech's 55,000-seat stadium.

After moving to its permanent home, Atlanta will play nine of its last 14 games at home, closing out the regular season at home against Toronto on Oct. 22.

"We are thrilled to have our inaugural schedule in place," team president Darren Eales said. "This is an exciting moment for our club and our fans, moving us one step closer to our first match in March."

The club's first preseason game is at Chattanooga FC on Feb. 11. The team from the fourth-tier National Premier Soccer League will host the game at Finley Stadium, about a two-hour drive from Atlanta.

United will also have three preseason games during the Carolina Challenge Cup, facing the Columbus Crew on Feb. 18, Seattle Sounders on Feb. 22 and Charleston Battery of the second-tier United Soccer League on Feb. 25.