This week in the prospects recap, we take a look at the academy results from the past weekend, check in on Atlanta United’s representatives at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Panama, and preview this weekend’s games at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Center.
Mixed Results in Charlotte
The U18, U16, U14 and U13 Atlanta United academy teams traveled to North Carolina over the weekend to take on the Development Academy’s two Charlotte-area clubs: Charlotte Soccer Academy and Carolina Rapids. Following a 0-0 draw against CSA on Saturday, the U18’s bounced back with a 2-1 victory against the Rapids on Sunday. Michael Ille opened the scoring in the 19th minute, and following a 2nd half equalizer from the Rapids, midfielder Laurent Kissiedou converted a penalty kick for the winning goal. The U16’s managed a draw in both of their matches, finishing 0-0 against CSA and 1-1 against the Rapids. Defender Matthew Rios scored the lone goal of the weekend, while two players, Charlie Asensio and Raul Tinoco, made their league debuts for the U16’s.
It was tougher sledding over the weekend for Atlanta United’s younger teams. The U14’s got goals from Emerson Chavez and Jackson Wrobel in a 3-2 loss to Charlotte SA before falling 1-0 on Sunday against the Rapids. The U13’s also dropped both of their games over the weekend. Back home, the U12’s earned a win and a draw in their two matches against NASA.
U-17 World Cup Qualifying Gets Underway
The CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the qualifying tournament for the U-17 World Cup in October, officially kicked off last Friday in Panama. Six Atlanta United players from both the first team and the academy are involved with their respective national teams. On Sunday, the United States U-17 squad took on their counterparts from Jamaica, coming away with a strong 5-0 opening victory. Atlanta United homegrown player Andrew Carleton got the start on the left wing for the US and had a pretty interesting game. In the 22nd minute, Carleton won a penalty after some shifty footwork in the box, but his penalty was saved relatively easily by the impressive Jamaican goalkeeper Tajay Griffiths. After squandering a couple more chances, Carleton came off in the 65th minute, replaced by Paris Saint Germain’s Timothy Weah.
Atlanta United’s other homegrown player, Chris Goslin, came on for the final 17 minutes of the match in midfield and had a pretty solid performance. Replacing the more attack-minded George Acosta, Goslin slotted into the midfield alongside two-way midfielder Blaine Ferri and was a catalyst for the US’s late onslaught of four goals in the final 15 minutes of the match. Academy center back Kendall Edwards also came off the bench for the Jamaicans, replacing injured starter Jamoi Topey. Edwards had a difficult game dealing with the US’s late pressure as the Americans capitalized on the tired Jamaican defense in the blazing hot Panama sun. Two other academy players, American Zyen Jones and Jamaican Blake White, were unused subs for their respective sides. Finally, academy defender Alex Bahr has started both matches of the tournament at center back for Honduras, who lost their opener 4-2 against the hosts Panama before rebounding with a 3-0 victory over Curacao.
This week will bring the remaining group matches for Atlanta’s youngsters. The US will take on Mexico this Wednesday in a huge early showdown before finishing the group stage against El Salvador this Saturday. Jamaica plays both Mexico and El Salvador as well, but in the opposite order. Honduras, meanwhile, will finish their group stage on Thursday against Haiti. Every match of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship is played from the Estadio Maracana in Panama City and will be streaming live on CONCACAF’s website and YouTube page.
This Weekend’s Academy Action
This coming weekend, the U16’s and U18’s will be back at the CHOA Training Center for the first time in over a month. Oddly enough, both will be playing the exact same teams they just played: Carolina Rapids on Saturday and Charlotte Soccer Academy on Sunday. These games were meant to be played way back in mid-January, but were ultimately postponed due to bad weather. Both the U18’s (18-2-5) and the U16’s (16-3-6) have already clinched their places in the Development Academy playoffs and will be trying to pick up as many points as possible from their final five matches of the season. The U18 games will kick off at 1 pm on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday, with the U16’s immediately following on both days.
The Atlanta United U12’s will also be in action with two away games against local clubs. Saturday the team will be at Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Gainesville to play Lanier Soccer Association, and on Sunday they will be at Marathon Park Austell against Southern Soccer Academy. Split-squad games will kick off at 10:30 am on both days. If you’re up for it, come out and support any or all of your Atlanta United academy teams this weekend.