The ATL UTD Development Pyramid
“Youth development is a key component for Atlanta United and critical in the club’s growth as part of the international soccer landscape.” - Atlanta United President Darren Eales
Atlanta United’s Development Pyramid encompasses the club’s focus on growing the game, collaborating with local youth clubs in Georgia and developing a pathway for youth players to become soccer professionals. Our Training Programs, United Juniors, Academy and Atlanta United 2 all work closely together to identify and develop the next generation of Atlanta United players.
- Atlanta United provides top level coaching for camps and clinics to help grow the game of soccer in the Southeast. Players of all abilities can join to experience this fun, activity-based curriculum and learn from professionally trained coaches in the greater Atlanta area.
- The club’s flagship training program is the Regional Development School (RDS) where youth players try out to participate. Currently the club has six RDS locations across Georgia. The RDS provides a high-quality training program year-round and the opportunity for young players to get additional professional training and enhance their development.
- Atlanta United also features Soccer Development Partners across the state of Georgia to help in the growth of the game. The club collaborates on Coaching Education programs from across the state. They are also given the opportunity to come to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground to observe ATL UTD’s First Team training. The main goal of the program is to provide support across the state of Georgia as soccer continues to grow at the youth level.
United Juniors Program:
- The next step of the Pyramid is the United Juniors Program, where Atlanta United’s Academy coaches are able to provide training to young athletes below the U-12 age group. The club works with coaches from Georgia youth soccer clubs to help enhance a player’s development. The program gives selected youth players another development opportunity as they look to become future Atlanta United Academy players.
Atlanta United Academy:
- Atlanta United’s Academy features six teams (U-12, 13, 14, 15, 17 and U-19). Under the direction of Academy Director Tony Annan, the club employs 15 coaches with extensive professional playing and coaching experience, both nationally and internationally. All teams train at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground alongside the professional teams, creating an environment that helps grow players both on and off the field. The club’s distinct brand of attacking play is cultivated throughout the Academy pipeline.
- The Academy has seen early success on the field, with the U-16 squad winning a National Championship in 2017 in its first year. It has also helped in the development of Homegrown talent, with several players signing professional contracts with the First Team and Atlanta United 2. So far, there have been nine players that have earned professional contracts.
- Since establishing the Academy in 2016, 31 Atlanta United Academy graduates have earned Division I Scholarships.
Atlanta United 2:
- The club’s USL Championship side, ATLUTD 2, provides the perfect bridge from the Academy to Major League Soccer. “The Proving Ground” has become an opportunity for young players to learn what it takes to be a professional player. The team’s Technical Staff works closely with both the MLS Staff and the Academy to provide those playing opportunities and push players to reach the highest level.