Tony Annan was appointed to interim head coach for ATL UTD 2 beginning July 27, 2020.
Annan joined the club in April 2016 and was promoted to Academy Director in December. As Atlanta United became the first MLS Academy to launch before its First Team, Annan oversaw one of the most successful seasons for any academy across the board during the 2016-17 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season. Serving as head coach of the U-17s, Annan won the club’s first piece of hardware, claiming the national championship that season. In addition, the U-19s also won the Southeast Division and finished the season as the No. 1 overall national seed.
Atlanta’s Academy has sustained success across all levels as the U-19s and U-17s have combined to win four Southeast Division titles, in addition to qualifying for the playoffs in each season. The U-14s won the 2019 Nexen Manchester City Cup, a 24-team tournament featuring clubs throughout the world where Atlanta defeated CF Monterrey 3-2 in the final. Academy teams have also won Generation adidas East Region qualifying twice.
Under his leadership, the Atlanta United Academy in its first four years has produced 10 players who have gone on to sign professional contracts, including seven MLS Homegrown players. Three more have signed with the club’s USL affiliate, ATL UTD 2, and 31 players have received scholarships at the NCAA Division 1 level.
Annan was instrumental in the development of Homegrown defender Georg Bello, who was an original member of Atlanta United’s Academy and signed as a Homegrown Player with Atlanta United on June 17, 2017 with the deal becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018. He made his MLS debut at D.C. United on Sept. 3 and scored his first MLS goal against New England on Oct. 6, becoming the sixth-youngest in league history. Bello was called up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup where he played two matches for the U.S. After making 11 starts for ATL UTD 2 last season, Bello returned from injury this year and made two starts in the MLS is Back Tournament. Atlanta added two new Homegrown signings in 2020 with defender George Campbell and forward Tyler Wolff. Campbell made his MLS debut as a substitute in a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati on March 7, 2020.
Prior to joining Atlanta United, Annan had already accumulated more than 20 years of experience coaching in the Atlanta market, and also founded the Georgia United development program. The Newcastle, England native leads the club’s player development and coaching program development.