Former Atlanta United Academy defender Charlie Asensio is no stranger to winning. Asensio was part of the Academy team that won the 2016-2017 National Championship in our inaugural season.
“My favorite memory with the Academy was unquestionably winning the National Championship in our first year as a club,” Asensio reminisced. “A year full of hard work and memories with that team ended in the most perfect way possible, being crowned as the best team in the country was very special and something I will never forget.”
Winning with the Academy and having the opportunity to train with the first team gave Asensio the confidence he needed to play in one of the toughest conferences in college soccer.
“There is no doubt that my time at Atlanta United prepared me for my move to Clemson. I was fortunate to train with the first team which elevated my game both technically and tactically,” Asensio noted. “During my first two years at Clemson, I have grown tremendously and have made memories that I will remember forever.”
Currently in his sophomore year at Clemson, Asensio has already brought his winning mentality to the Tigers. He was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in 2018 and to the Second Team All-ACC team for 2019. Despite his personal accolades, Asensio embraces the team spirit and loves being able to share his victories with the team.
“My favorite memory so far has been becoming the ACC regular season champions this past year,” Asensio continued. “I remember clinching the title and feeling all of the emotions at once, confirming that our hard work all season was paying off.”
Asensio has never shied away from the hard work that being a collegiate soccer player requires. For as long as he can remember, the game has been a part of his life. Every training session, workout and game has prepared him for where he is now.
“I started playing the sport when I was three years old and have been in love with it ever since,” Asensio recalled. “I grew up playing at NASA and eventually Georgia United where I played for three years. At both of those clubs, I received very good coaching, developed as a player and created relationships I will always cherish. This all without a doubt prepared me for the next step, playing for Atlanta United.”
As he thought back on all the coaching and advice he has received through the years, Asensio shared some insight for any players currently on the Academy team. He is proof of the importance of hard work.
“Always play with confidence and 100% effort. You need to remember that you’re playing for an MLS academy for a reason,” Asensio stressed. “That being said, you must also remember that talent without hard work will not get you to the next level. You must give maximum effort every time you step onto the field.”
The game he fell in love with as a child has taken him all over the world, playing for the academy and the U.S. Youth National Team. He never took for granted all the travel was teaching him about the sport.
“In my time with the academy and the U.S. Youth National Team, I had the opportunity to play in a number of different countries. I travelled to and played against England, Germany, Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Portugal to name a few,” Asensio stated. “Through this travel and game experience, I’ve learned so much about the culture of the sport and what it takes to play at the highest level.”
As he continues to grow as a player, he has never lost sight of his biggest dream—to play soccer at the professional level. No matter what happens, Asensio will continue to work hard and enjoy the game and hopefully win a few more championships along the way.