The Atlanta United Academy’s under-16 side have taken their place as the best in the country in their first year of competition. Behind a pair of second-half goals by Homegrown Player Andrew Carleton, they defeated two-time defending champion FC Dallas 2-1 for the 2017 USSDA National Championship at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.
The teams played to a scoreless first half, but the Five Stripes found the scoreboard first past the middle portion of the second. On a free kick in front of the box, Carleton unleashed a strike that went over the wall and past a lunging Michael Collodi as Atlanta were the first to break through.
The second goal for Carleton in the 67’, though, was the best of the two by far. The 17-year-old let loose a cracker from outside the area that left Collodi absolutely no chance and put Atlanta up by a pair.
The victory clinches a historic first championship at any level for Atlanta United. From the early stages of the club, Darren Eales vowed to make Atlanta home to the best soccer academy in the world. After this title run by the U-16, they’ve certainly taken a big step in that direction.
Congratulations to the young men on their victory this weekend!