After a well-deserved month off, the Atlanta United Academy is back in business for a new season of development and growth at the highest level. Here’s what you may have missed form the future of the club this month:
The Academy Dinner
It’s one of the best nights of the season for the Atlanta United Academy, a chance to celebrate ahead of a new season of hard work. The Annual Atlanta United Academy dinner kicked off the month, with players from the U-12 to U-19 squads getting together for a night of fun and bonding. It also means the official announcement for the rosters for the coming year, with new faces at every level. For a full rundown of the new rosters, head over to our Twitter account.
RDS Graduates Named to Academy Squad
Another milestone for the Academy was the induction of the first two Regional Development School graduates into the Academy ranks. Atlanta United’s Regional Development School, or RDS, is an elite training program for players younger than the youth ranks, focused on identifying and developing the top young talent in the region. In just their first season, two players graduated from the RDS ranks into the U-12 Academy, a major achievement in just the first year of existence. “We want to have a good impact, not just in Atlanta, but in Georgia as a whole,” said Academy Director Tony Annan. “Having our Regional Development Schools allows us to expand our geographic footprint and really get to areas that we don't get to see as frequently and make sure we are identifying the best talent in Georgia to come and play for Atlanta United.”
Two New Coaches
A new season means new faces in the coaching ranks as well, with Jack Collison and Zach Herold joining the coaching staff. Collins joines after a long professional career in England where he made 121 appearances for West Ham United and scored 14 goals from 2007-2014, while representing Wales at the international level. Herold was a former Generation Adidas player who represented the U.S. at the U-17 World Cp. He was drafted by Toronto FC in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft but was diagnosed with a heart condition that unfortunately forced the end of his playing career, but started a strong career in youth development.
Preseason Tour in England
The Atlanta United U-17 squad is getting experience against the top level, with a preseason tour to England. It’s been a fantastic start: a 1-1 draw with West Brom, followed by 1-0 wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City. Stay tuned to the Atlanta United Academy Twitter feed for the latest results from the trip.
The season is fully underway so make sure you’re following along for the latest results along the way. Make sure to follow the Atlanta United Academy on Twitter by clicking here, or the Instagram by clicking here.