Academy Recap - December 20th

Even when the first team is getting some well-deserved rest, the Five Stripes don’t stop. As the temperatures have dropped, the Atlanta United academy players are braving the elements and putting in the extra work to reach their dreams. Here’s what you may have missed from the future of Atlanta United:

International call-up

The month started with one of our U-15 stars being noticed by his national team. Goalkeeper Vicente Reyes was called up by Chile for their upcoming tournament. He joins Welsh midfielder Josh Francombe and Hondurans Alexander Bahr and Alessandro Castro as players outside the U.S. National Team getting deserved recognition for their growth and play.

United Juniors Development Training Program launch

Atlanta United announced its United Juniors Development Training Program this month. The program, beginning in February 2018, will give players born 2009, 2008, and 2007 the opportunity to train under the Atlanta United Academy staff at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground. The United Juniors program is designed to identify youth players and enhance development earlier than the U-12 level. Players selected to the program will train with the Atlanta United Academy staff weekly from February – May 2018.

Atlanta United Academy staff will work with club directors and coaches from youth teams across Georgia to select players to join the United Juniors Training Program. Once selected, players will remain an active player with their own youth club while receiving additional development from Atlanta United’s Academy staff.

Coaching Education Program

Helping to grow the game in the Atlanta area means more than just training the players themselves. It means helping local coaches learn techniques that will raise the level of all kids in the South. So the club held its Atlanta United Coaching Education Program to help teach local coaches the best way to cultivate local soccer talent.

U-12 invitational

Last but certainly not least was the biggest weekend on the calendar this month for Atlanta United’s youngest team. The U-12 sqad welcomed the Sporting KC and Columbus Crew SC academy players to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta for the Atlanta United Invitational.

Despite an unexpected visit from mother nature that brought several inches of snow, the U-12’s put up impressive performances against both teams in the round robin format. The red, black and gold opened the weekend with a 3-2 win over Columbus before fighting for a draw against Sporting KC. The second day was a bit tougher, with Atlanta falling 2-3 to SKC and 1-2 to Columbus in the Sunday rematches. All in all, it provided a valuable learning experience for the entire age group for all three squads.

Stay tuned in the New Year… the first team may be off but the Five Stripes don’t stop.