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Seven academy players join Atlanta United for the preseason

Commitment to youth.

Atlanta United have announced the inclusion of seven academy players that will join the first team for their preseason training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Lagos Kunga and Michael Ille, both wingers, are joined by forward Patrick Okonkwo and center back Carlos Asensio in representing the U18 team, while U16 forward James Brighton, midfielder Dylan Gaither and fullback Kendall Edwards also received a call-up.

It’s interesting that players from the U16 team are also being included. It shows the commitment in building the academy, while giving young players a chance to go against professionals who are also trying to prove themselves at a new club.

Asensio is a regular with the U.S. U18 squad, while Kunga and Ille were recently called up to the U19 national team for a camp in February. Edwards has represented Jamaican youth sides in the past.

Atlanta United’s senior team trains in Florida from January 24th to February 4th. The seven call-up’s will re-join their respective academy squads while at IMG Academy, as each team plays there on February 4th and 5th.