Atlanta United’s first team may have been fighting for a championship, but there were plenty more fighting for a future in the professional game at the Academy level as well in October. Here’s what you may have missed from the future of the club:
Three International Call-ups
The biggest story in the youth game right now is the U-17 World Cup, with the best in the world down in Brazil competing for the biggest prize in their age group. Atlanta United is represented twice. Most fans know George Bello, who has played for the first team already. But goalkeeper Vicento Reyes is also in the squad for Chile, used in a substitute role so far in the tournament. Meanwhile, Italo Jenkins is getting to represent his country at the U-15 international level. The young American striker got his first goal for the team against Poland earlier this month at a UEFA Development Tournament, one of 20 players called up for tournament, which is notably the first ever international competition for players born in 2005.
Campbell finishes season strong
Atlanta United homegrown George Campbell is hoping to build on his first professional contract by earning a spot in the first team next year –– and he’s finishing his first season in USL on a high. The 18-year-old was named in the USL Team of the Week for their second to last matchweek of the season to cap off their season-long seven-match unbeaten run.
U-17’s trip to Colombia
Competing against top-notch opposition as often as possible is a key part of youth development, so Atlanta United Academy coaches are always looking to find new ways to face top talent. The U-17 team got a unique opportunity this month to travel to Colombia for their first ever trip to South America to face two giants of the South American game in Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín. Atlanta United came out big 4-0 winners over Nacional, but couldn’t repeat the result against Independiente in a 1-1-0 trip. But most important, a new environment and a new challenge for some of Atlanta United’s best young athletes.
Generation adidas Cup Qualifying
The U-17 and U-15 Academy teams got their qualifying rounds underway for this year’s Generation adidas Cup, one of the premier youth soccer leagues in North America every year. The U-17’s went 1-1-0 over the weekend, with a 1-0 loss to Columbus evened out by a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati. The U-15’s got a big 3-1 win over NYCFC, but couldn’t top Columbus and Toronto to go 1-2-0 on the weekend. The next step will come on friendly ground, with the February 2020 GA Cup scheduled to be held at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground.
Goal of the Month
That’s everything from the month of October in the Atlanta United Academy. As always, be sure to follow the Atlanta United Academy social media channels for the most up-to-date news. This month’s Goal of the Month has to go to Italo Jenkins for scoring in his first appearance for the U-15 team, a smash into the top corner against Poland.