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The Daily Dirt, September 24: The Kids Are Alright

Atlanta United’s academy in action today

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Atlanta United academy off to a winning start Dave Williamson Photography

Atlanta United’s academy makes its much hyped local debut this afternoon at Pace Academy. They are hosting the Chargers Soccer Club from Clearwater, a well respected developer of talent in their own right. The U18’s kickoff at 1:00 p.m. and the U16’s play immediately afterwards.

Two weeks ago, Chargers started their season against Boca United FC. The U18’s drew 1-1, with the goal coming from #8 Robert McCoy. Their U16’s fell to Boca 2-1, with #25 Ethan Winship scoring their lone goal.

Atlanta’s U18’s have not given up a goal yet in two wins. Goalkeepers Russell Shealy and Samuel Morton each have a shutout. United has started the same backline in each match: #3 John Michael Bandy, #5 Edwin Figueroa, #4 Kareve Richards, and #21 Bryce Washington. They have scored five goals in the two wins, with five different goalscorers. Forwards #11 Lagos Kunga and #9 Patrick Okonkwo should figure into the attack today, alongside Clemson commit #10 Mike Ille. Midfielder #17 Adeola Oke is another player who has started both games and gotten on the scoresheet.

United’s U16’s are also unbeaten in two matches. Forward #41 James Brighton has scored twice this season and started both games. Defender #35 Kendall Edwards and midfielder #51 Blake White recently featured for Jamaica’s U17 National Team at the Caribbean Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. Forward #34 Jackson Conway was also away at a U17 U.S. National Team camp in California.

I’ll be posting updates from the games today on Twitter, follow along if you cannot make it out to Pace this afternoon.

Tomorrow morning, United’s academy hosts IMG Academy from Bradenton at Pace at 10:00 a.m. (U18) and 12:30 p.m. (U16).


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