American MLS side Atlanta United want to play Aberdeen in the Granite City when football emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aberdeen are ready to reciprocate by taking Derek McInnes’ Reds to the United States for a glamour friendly with Atlanta.
Managed by Dutch legend Frank de Boer, home for Atlanta is the 71,000 capacity Mercedes-Benz Stadium which was completed in 2017 at a cost of $1.6 billion. The stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIV last year.
The Dons and the current US Open Cup champions entered into a strategic partnership in November last year.
Atlanta United President Darren Eales said: “It would be great for us to bring players over to Aberdeen and play a game over there.
“It is something that at some point clearly makes sense, both ways, and is on our shopping list of things we are looking to do in the future.”
As part of a strengthening relationship between the clubs, Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank and his family foundation recently donated more than £24,000 to the Aberdeen FC Community Trust which has been helping the vulnerable during the Covid-19 crisis.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said: “It would be brilliant to get our guys out to Atlanta.
“The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an incredible experience.”
Friendlies between the clubs on both sides of the Atlantic will not be for the foreseeable future as football is shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Scottish football has been shut down at all levels since March 13 and that will continue until at least June 10.
However, Atlanta are set to take a positive step forward as from tomorrow players will be able to use the team’s outdoor training fields for individual training sessions.
Eales said: “It is humbling that we see there is a bigger picture out there and it makes sport seem little compared to what is happening. However, from a mental perspective getting football back out there will give a boost to local communities.
“There is an element now to see if we can get back. We are pleased to be back with the individual training programmes. “We got the OK from the MLS to bring our players back for individual training.
“That will be huge because the players were going stir crazy at home and it is a chance for them to get back to what they do best.”
The number of deaths in the United States from Covid-19 has now surpassed 65,000 with more than 1m confirmed cases.
However, Eales believes there is now “light at the end of the tunnel” as some lockdown restrictions have been eased
Eales said: “It is starting to open up a bit in the States, we are in the state of Georgia.
“There is a little bit of movement in terms of social distancing and generally getting out and about. There is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
“New York has been the hardest hit of all the cities. There are certain hot spots and other areas which are not so bad.”
Scottish football has a myriad of problems around completing the 2019-20 season, behind closed doors, or ending it now and calling Celtic champions and relegating Hearts.
There is the call for permanent league reconstruction and a call on the top flight has been further complicated, and delayed, by Rangers’ calls for an investigation into the SPFL vote which has led to next’ week’s EGM.
The outlook is potentially a lot clearer in the United States.
Eales said: “In the MLS we had only started our season and had only played two matches.
“We have a longer runway as to how we can get this season going.
“We are putting everything on the table, whether it be neutral venues, a tournament to start the season, whether we extend the season or go into the next calendar year.
“We could play with or shorten our plays-offs.
“We are agile and a relatively young league and we don’t have relegation so we don’t have those stresses of how to deal with things that other leagues have.
“We are going to use every effort to get games played.”