It’s been awhile, but the prospects recap is back. In this week’s edition, we look at the weekend’s Generation adidas Cup results, recent youth national team call-ups, and preview the start of the Spring DA schedule.
Taming the Lions
There aren’t many better ways to kick off a new year than with a win over Orlando City, which is exactly what Atlanta United’s U17’s pulled off this weekend. The two clubs came together at the CHOA Training Ground on Saturday as part of the East region Generation adidas Cup qualifying tournament.
The U17’s won 3-0 against Orlando, with Jackson Conway scoring a brace and Liam Butts also getting on the score sheet. Conway’s two goals increases his competition total to seven in just four matches, which goes along with his 15 goals scored in twelve matches in the Development Academy. The club was kind enough to release a quick video of the goals scored in the match, which you can check out below.
As evidenced by the video, another key player for the U17’s in this competition is Don Deedson Vixamar, who wears the #10 and assisted both of Conway’s goals against Orlando. Vixamar has yet to appear for United in a Development Academy match for reasons unknown. However, he’s been an absolute force in the GA Cup qualifiers, with 3 goals, several assists and tons of created chances. A dynamic winger with plenty of pace and natural ability, Vixamar is an under-the-radar player at the club and definitely one to watch going forward.
With the win, the U17’s improve to 3-1 in GA Cup qualifying, with two games against the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution still to play. Those matches will take place in mid-February, with the actual GA Cup beginning in early April in Frisco, TX. The top two teams from the East region will qualify for the Champions Division, the highest level of competition in the tournament.
YNT Call-ups Galore
A couple of weeks ago, US Soccer put together their first ever youth national team “summit camp,” which consisted of around 160 players at all ages U16-U20. For all intensive purposes, this was a chance for US Soccer to outline the base of their player pool for both the 2019 U17 and U20 World Cup cycles. Predictably, Atlanta United was well-represented, with 8 players in attendance.
Homegrown players Chris Goslin and Andrew Carleton were two of only five players born in 2000 to be called directly into the U20 team by head coach Tab Ramos. Fellow U17 World Cup veteran Justin Garces was apart of the U19 team, along with his Atlanta United teammates Charlie Asensio and Rayshaun McGann. Zyen Jones was also apart of the U19 team, however reports say he has left the club for the time being in order to go on trial with Bundesliga club Schalke 04. All of these players should have more opportunities to impress Ramos and his U20 staff over the next year or so.
At the U17 level, Atlanta United was represented by homegrown defender George Bello, who will be a big part of the U17 team throughout this next cycle. There was also a first YNT call-up for U17 winger Wasswa Robbins, potentially as a reward for his stellar play at the Development Academy Winter Showcase in December. The U15 national team also convened a training camp a week or so later, with Atlanta United U14 fullback Bryan Casanova earning the call. This was a particularly West Coast-heavy roster for the U15 YNT, and there are definitely a few other 2004’s that US Soccer is interested in. Expect more young Five Stripes to get looks at the national team level throughout 2018.
Starting the Spring Schedule
This weekend, the academy returns to Development Academy play for the first time since December’s Winter Showcase, with the U19’s, U17’s and U15’s all hosting a pair of matches at the Training Ground in Marietta. The opponents will be the Carolina Rapids on Saturday and Charlotte Soccer Academy on Sunday.
These are the same two opponents that Atlanta United took on back in September to begin the season, with the 19’s, 17’s and 15’s going 5-1 over a weekend trip up to the Charlotte area. Both of the club’s oldest academy teams enter the Spring in playoff position and will be looking to hold onto that with a busy slate of games coming. Stay tuned to DSS and social media for all the upcoming academy action.