The First Team has had an incredible run of matches during May, but the future of the club is hard at work as well. Here’s what you may have missed with the Atlanta United Academy this month:
Man City Cup Champions
Whenever there’s a chance to play top-quality, international competition, the Atlanta United Academy always jumps at the opportunity. Premier League powerhouses Manchester City hosted a youth tournament in San Diego, California this weekend with the best academies in MLS –– including LAFC, FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders and more –– as well as international forces like Manchester City, Monterrey and Melbourne City FC.
Atlanta United’s U-14’s side were nothing short of sensational all weekend long, opening up with 6 points on the first day with wins over the San Jose Earthquakes and Strikers FC. Next up was Manchester City, and it was Alan Carleton –– younger brother of homegrown signing Andrew Carleton –– who slammed home the winner against the English champions, just one of his game-changing plays throughout the weekend.
Next up was a hard-fought battle with FC Dallas, but Jonantan Villal’s clever poke past the goalkeeper was enough to send them to the semifinals with a 1-0 win. If that was a defensive battle, the next was an attacking surge. Jenkins, Carleton, Sebhatu and Hermenegildo all scored in a 4-3 thriller over Seattle Sounders to send them to the final match against Mexican giants Monterrey. The Five Stripes attack couldn’t be slowed down, putting three past the opposing goalkeeper to take the lead into the final minutes. After a penalty was awarded to Monterrey in the final minutes, it looked as if Monterrey may have fought their way back into the match –– but a massive penalty save from Elijah Buford kept the lead and secured the title for the squad.
In all, a tremendous team performance to go undefeated against top-level competition, and just the latest sign of Atlanta United’s contribution to the growth of the sport in the Atlanta area.
Another Youth Call-up
The contributions to youth goes beyond Atlanta, and that was re-affirmed this month with the Ajani Fortune, who was called up to represent the Trinidad & Tobago U-17 team for the upcoming Concacaf Championship. The midfielder from Marietta, Georgia has impressed at both the U-16/17s and U-18/19 levels this season, with five goals in 18 matches from the center of the park.
The USSDA season comes to a close
Last but not least, the USSDA regular season is coming to a close this weekend. The U-19’s and U-17’s are both in contention for postseason places as they head into the final match week, on June 1st at home versus the NC Fusion. A strong weekend would lock up another postseason appearance for the sides in their early history.
Goal of the Month
After Seattle jumped out to an early lead at the Man City Cup, the U-14’s took no time to neutralize their advantage with a beautiful passing play to equalize with just minutes on the clock.