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Atlanta United Academy star a nominee for Top Drawer Soccer’s Player of the Year

The best U-18 player in the country could be playing for Atlanta.

Top Drawer Soccer, the preeminent site for all things American youth soccer, hand out a yearly Player of the Year award in conjunction IMG. In 2016, Isiah Young of Players Development Academy took home the award and eventually signed a pro contract with Werder Bremen.

On Monday, TDS spotlighted a couple of possible candidates for the award and Atlanta United’s own Lagos Kunga was featured as someone who has impressed this season and could possibly take home the award this year.

In the meantime, Kunga’s been arguably the DA’s most dangerous winger, popping in and out of dangerous positions for Atlanta United’s wildly successful U18 side. He has 10 goals to date, and in stretches he’s been more or less un-guardable on the academy level with his blend of speed and agility in space. In one-on-one situations there’s perhaps nobody you’d least like to lock horns with. Whether Kunga makes it to August still an amateur is maybe the bigger question, but for now he remains a first-ballot choice.

The award is given out in August to the top U-18 player in the country. In addition to receiving several call-ups to the various U.S. national team age groups, he’s scored 10 goals in 18 games this season for the Atlanta United U-18’s in Development Academy play. TDS believe that Kunga could sign a pro deal, possibly a homegrown deal with Atlanta United, before that date comes. It remains to be seen if that’s the case or not, but it’s very interesting to see him get such high marks from an impartial source.

Kunga is committed to Furman and would play for them in 2018 if he doesn’t sign a professional contract. Time will tell what the future holds for the youngster, but for now he appears to be very highly rated. Congrats to him for the praise and good luck to him if he remains eligible to win the award later this year.