Is Atlanta United about to get its own reserve team? If reports are to be believed, it could be coming as soon as next season.
Kristian Dyer of Metro US is reporting that Atlanta are moving towards adding a brand new expansion team to USL for the 2018 season.
The past two seasons, Atlanta have been affiliated with the Charleston Battery where a few of their players have gone on loan to earn some much-needed experience. However, with the team’s academy in full-swing and the gap between the youth teams and first-team still very big, there needs to a bridge built. It appears the team is ready to build it.
Several MLS clubs have their own team operating as a reserve side within the USL. Those teams include New York Red Bulls, Orlando City, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, and Seattle Sounders. It makes complete sense for Atlanta United, a franchise vying to become one of the best in the country, to follow suit.
With the U.S. Soccer Development Academy ending at age 18, there needs to be a place for Atlanta’s young players to play after they have graduated. If College soccer isn’t a desirable option for most, they need to play professional. The Battery affiliation was useful to kick start the club’s existence, but it has quickly out grown that model. This step seems the most logical one.
Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but it appears like it’s close to happening. Stay tuned for more details in the future.