Atlanta United has appointed former USYNT assistant coach Scott Donnelly as head coach of its new USL team, Atlanta United 2.
Donnelly has been part of the national team setup with the USMNT U18s since 2014. His appointment indicates that United 2 will be used as a developmental pipeline for kids coming through the Atlanta United academy.
“Scott has a strong track record of helping develop young players and we’re happy to bring him on board to lead our USL staff,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club press release. “He’s a great fit with his head coaching experience in addition to his knowledge of the youth setup and structure in the country.”
While Donnelly is an outside hire, he won’t be an unfamiliar face around the Atlanta United training facility. He was on the coaching staff for the U.S. U-17 National Team at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India where three Atlanta United academy products, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin and Justin Garces, played for the U.S. squad that reached the quarterfinals.
“I am excited to join ATL UTD 2 as the first head coach,” Donnelly said in the press release. “I am confident we can play an integral role in the club’s overall pyramid and provide a platform for our young players to perform and develop while supporting the First Team. As the bridge between the Academy and the First Team, our goals will be to not only prepare and push our players, but also to put together a strong team that represents this club and the fans of Atlanta United.”
Donnelly was a head coach in the college ranks for more than 10 years (a position he last held in 2014), posting a record of 62-36-5. More importantly, he helped to develop 15 professional players and 5 MLS SuperDraft picks, such as Chicago Fire defender Matt Polster.