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Atlanta United honors Christian Carrillo at the season home opener on Feb. 27

Earlier this year Atlanta United lost one of our own to a sudden and tragic accident. Christian Carrillo was a promising goalkeeper from Atlanta United’s Academy and had been called up to the U.S. Men’s Youth National Team camp just a few weeks before his passing. His family and friends described him as a leader on and off the pitch, an overall kind and caring individual.

On Feb. 16, members of the Atlanta United community gathered on the Academy training pitch to honor Christian’s memory. In attendance were Atlanta United staff, players, and coaches alongside Carrillo’s family and teammates. There, Club President Darren Eales, Academy Director Matt Lawery, and U-15 coaches Zach Herold and Lewis Sharpe spoke to Carrillo’s friends and family and unveiled the “CC1,” his initials and number, painted on the training pitch in his memory.

On Feb. 27, both the team and the official supporter groups banded together to remember Christian’s life during the team’s first match of the season against Sporting Kansas City.

Atlanta United players wore a black armband with CC1 written on it. In a post-match interview head coach Gonzalo Pineda gave more detail about the team’s tribute to Carrillo.

“The whole team wearing this black armband, for me it’s very important that we honor Christian Carrillo,” Pineda said. “A kid from Academy, he was a very good goalkeeper, a guy that it was tough for the whole organization to lose. We lost him a few weeks ago and today was the day where we honored him as a club, and I want to make sure that this year we honor him in the whole season.”


Between the first and second minute supporters dedicated a moment of silence to Christian and his family. The supporters stopped playing their drums, put down their flags and lifted one finger in the air.


To honor both Christian and his family, the club remembered Carrillo during halftime with a video and message on the Halo Board at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta United was founded on the principle that we are one team, one club. Christian Carrillo was a part of our team and our club, and we continue to honor his memory in everything we do.

“I just wanted to say that and to his family our condolences and all of our prayers with them,” Pineda said. “But this one hurt the club big time and I think that’s the connection that you see among the club, and I want to make sure that you know that Christian Carrillo will be remembered forever for the club.”

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