Atlanta United today announced it has signed 16-year-old midfielder Chris Goslin as a Homegrown Player. A member of Atlanta United Academy and native of Locust Grove, Ga., Goslin becomes the second Homegrown player in club history.
“This is another proud signing in the history of Atlanta United,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra. “Chris’s progression through the youth system has been particularly impressive and he’s shown that he’s ready for the next level in his development. It’s our priority to cultivate a pathway that consistently progresses the best youth players in the area to the next level.”
Currently in residency with the U17 U.S. National Team, Goslin has been a mainstay on the youth circuit since making his debut with the U14s in 2012. He’s been an integral part of head coach John Hackworth’s team that is preparing for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup next year in India. This past calendar year alone, he’s been a factor in every tournament the team has participated in, including key tournaments such as the Nike Friendlies, Aegean Cup, Montaigu (France) and the All India Football Federation Youth Cup. At Montaigu, Goslin played in four games and started three to help lead the U.S. to beating host France in the championship.
“I’m very excited for Chris and the future of our club,” said Atlanta United head coach Gerardo Martino. “I was able to see Chris play with the U17s and he has huge potential. I look forward to working with him.”
Goslin joined Atlanta United Academy from Georgia United. During the 2015-16 USSDA season, he played at the U18 level, playing in 11 games while splitting time with national team duties. He started nine games, scored three goals and helped lead Georgia United into the playoffs with a 17-11-5 record.
“As a club, we’ve set out to commit considerable resources to building the strongest academy in the league, in an effort to lay a firm foundation for our future,” said Atlanta United President Darren Eales. “Identifying and developing the best youth players from the Atlanta area has been a priority and Chris certainly has the ability and potential to become a key member of the First Team.”
“We’re extremely happy for Chris and to see his hard work recognized with a professional contract,” said Atlanta United Academy Director Richard Money. “While Chris has set a high bar for the rest of the boys in our program, their pathway to the next level is abundantly clear and everyone should see that through true dedication to the game, anything is possible.”
Goslin joins Andrew Carleton to become the second Homegrown Player signing in club history. Per MLS rules, there is no limit to the number of Homegrown Players a club may sign in a given year.
The Atlanta United Academy became the first MLS academy to be launched prior to its First Team taking the field. They began play this September, and hosted their first game in front of more than 1,000 fans at Pace Academy Riverview Complex on Sept. 24. The academy has five different teams competing at the U18, U16, U14, U13 and U12 levels.
Goslin and the rest of the Atlanta United Academy will partake in the 2016-17 Generation adidas Cup, starting on Oct. 7. Held for the U17 age group, Atlanta United will play Philadelphia Union, D.C. United and New York Red Bulls at the Philadelphia Union Training Grounds this weekend.