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Future Atlanta United academy players shine on opening day of playoffs

Andrew Carleton and Cheik Fofana each score twice

Georgia United U16’s after 3-2 win over New England Revolution
Elmer Pineda

Georgia United’s U16 and U18 teams qualified for the US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs this season, taking place this week in Frisco, Texas. The U16 team won their first game, 3-2 over New England Revolution, while the U18’s lost by the same score to the Crew SC Academy Wolves of Michigan.

The U16’s fell behind early on a goal off a corner kick, and the score stayed that way through the first half. Carlos Pineda, recently called up to the El Salvador youth national teams, leveled the score with a blast from outside the box. Pineda assisted on Atlanta United U18 Academy signee Cheik Fofana’s goal to put United into the lead 2-1. The Revolution scored on a fluky goal to tie the game. Zyen Jones, another Atlanta United Academy signee, beat two defenders on the left before crossing for Fofana, who scored his second goal of the game that would prove to be the difference.

The U18’s did not have the same fortune as the U16’s. Atlanta United Homegrown Player signing Andrew Carleton celebrated his 16th birthday with two goals in their 3-2 loss to the Crew SC Academy Wolves. One was a penalty kick, the other was from the right side of the penalty area.

Both teams play again on Friday. The U16’s face the Los Angeles Galaxy at 5:00pm local time and the U18’s play Texas Rush at 7:30pm.

Atlanta United Academy signees playing for Georgia United were:

U16: Carlos Asensio, Trevor Byrne, Tanner Carlson, Zyen Jones, William Crain, Cheik Fofana (will move to U18 with Atlanta United), Victor Pereyra-Zavala (will move to U18 with Atlanta United), Nicolas Perez (will move to U18 with Atlanta United),

U18: Andrew Carleton, Samuel Morton, Patrick Okonkwo, Juan Pablo Torres