Atlanta United Homegrown player Patrick Okonkwo is set to join the Charleston Battery on loan for the 2018 season. The 19-year-old striker is already with the USL side and has made an impact in their first preseason match.
Starting XI for Preseason game 1 @Chas_Battery vs @COFCSoccer Good first half from the 1st team. @nicoritt with the only goal in the half. Okonkwo, @ArambulaRyan, and @ObrianWoodbine lead the prospects in the 2nd half, Okonkwo with a brace. Battery finish against CofC 3-0 pic.twitter.com/PHkvbl6LRu— Drew Bartow (@drewontarget) February 11, 2018
Playing in the second half of a 3-0 win over the College of Charleston, Okonkwo netted two goals.
Despite introducing their own reserve team into the USL this season, Atlanta United will turn to the Battery once more to help develop a few of their young players. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson, Okonkwo will be joined by second round MLS SuperDraft pick Gordon Wild at Charleston this season. The loans will be announced some time in the future.
Why would Atlanta rely on Charleston for loans while now having AU2 to manage players’ minutes? It could just be a simple explanation of team needs. Atlanta United 2’s roster has a healthy amount of attacking players and the Battery might could use some help there. If Okonkwo and Wild could get more minutes in Charleston than Gwinnett this season, it makes perfect sense for all parties to make these loans happen.
Good luck to Patrick and Gordon. We’ll be watching.