The U.S. U-17 National Team are looking ahead to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup in India. There are three Atlanta United players making their presence known in the starting lineup – goalkeeper Justin Garces, midfielder Chris Goslin and forward Andrew Carleton from Atlanta United – and it’s an opportunity they’re not taking for granted.
“Our first match against India was my favorite of my memories with the U-17 team so far,” Goslin says. “It was just absolutely unbelievable, we had close to 50,000 fans there and it was insane.”
The Atlanta contingent has impressed so far. Garces has secured two clean sheets in three matches and added smooth possession play out of the back. Goslin has locked down central midfield, and added an assists on top of that. And Carleton has been his usual self up top, fearless and technical, scoring one goal and assisting another in three games so far. They’re paying back the faith shown in them from their manager and achieving some lifelong dreams.
“It’s an honor really,” Garces told fans in a live social Q&A session Friday. “I know that sounds like a cliché but it doesn’t feel like it when you do it. Being able to wear the number on your chest and back is a different kind of feeling, it’s one of a kind. I take great pride in it.”
After advancing from the group stage, the squad will now face Paraguay in a single elimination knockout match on Monday. After a disappointing loss in their game against Colombia, they will be looking to right the ship to continue their tournament lives. One thing’s for sure: they’re as unified as they’ve always been.
“These guys are my brothers,” Carleton says. “We’re one big family and being able to play with these guys, I mean we’re best friends. We get along really well, to be able to play with these guys makes it even more special.”