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Atlanta United Academy Report: Generation adidas Cup qualifying is next

Zyen Jones starts for the U.S. U17’s in Panama

Dave Williamson Photography

The Generation adidas Cup is an opportunity for Atlanta United’s academy to measure themselves against the best of MLS, and potentially strong international guests. Qualifying starts this weekend in Philadelphia and Atlanta’s schedule looks like this:

  • Friday, October 7 vs. Philadelphia Union at 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 8 vs. DC United at 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 10 vs. New York Red Bulls at 1:00 p.m.

The tournament is played with U17 teams, so players from both of Atlanta United’s senior academy teams (U16 and U18) will play in this event. Games are played with 35 minute halves and penalty shootouts take place after each tied game for a bonus point in the standings.

Last year, teams were divided into three regions and participated in two qualifying events per region. The top two teams in each region move into the Championship Division for the finals, everyone else participates in the Premier Division. Last year, River Plate won the Championship Division in the finals held in Frisco, Texas.

The age group will cause some selection headaches for United as they mix age eligible players from their strong U16 and U18 squads together.

Speaking of their current squads, Atlanta United is yet to suffer a loss in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play this season. The U18’s drew both games this weekend, a 0-0 match with North Carolina Fusion on Saturday and a 3-3 thriller with the Capital Area Railhawks on Sunday. From my viewpoint on Sunday, it was obvious to see how motivated the Railhawks were to face United. Their next match will be the same way as they face cross town rivals Concorde Fire on October 15.

Edwin Figueroa, captain of the U18’s, was called into Brad Fiedel’s U.S. U19 squad for a training camp this week. The center back has been a standout on one of the best defenses in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and has been getting noticed.

Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, and Zyen Jones have spent time recently with the U.S. U17’s who are training in Panama. Carleton scored in a match on September 27 that saw Goslin and Jones feature as subs. Jones started in the second match on October 1.

The U16’s continue their prolific ways, winning both matches last weekend over North Carolina Fusion and the Capital Area Railhawks. Five different goal scorers featured in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Fusion. James Brighton scored his ninth goal of the season on Sunday in a 3-1 win over the Railhawks.

The U14’s posted two shutouts by goalkeeper Ryan Schewe over the weekend against the same opponents from North Carolina. They have not allowed a goal since their first match on September 10. The U13’s picked up two more wins as well, defeating the Fusion 6-2 on Saturday and the Railhawks 2-1 on Sunday.