With only a few weeks left until they have their first regular season game, ATL 2 is in full pre season mode. There was a positive and determined atmosphere around the players and coaches at the training ground on Thursday morning. In the midst of a crazy start to the MLS season players find it important to stay focused on preparing for the inaugural season for the team.
“Everyone is trying to find their own role with team,” said defender Andrew Kendall-Moullin. “I’m not the oldest on the team but also not the youngest, so right now I've got a bit of a weird role. I'm doing my best to try to adjust to a new situation and learn from older players while also trying to help the really young guys on the team.”
Kendall-Moullin also got a little more specific with some first team players he enjoys watching and learning from.
“I love watching guys like Darlington Nagbe and Miguel Almiron. All the guys the fans like watching I am right there with them. We get to watch and compete against them in training and then go see them play in the stadium on the weekend. It’s like I’m a fan but also trying to learn as much as I can from them.”
Head coach Scott Donnelly has liked what he’s seen so far from this new group of players.
“The guys have worked hard, are in a good place physically, and have taken some of the concepts well,” he said. “While it’s still a work in progress we are able to feel alright about where things stand at the moment.”
Donnelly also went on to talk about how the players are motivating themselves during preseason.
“All of the players are very motivated because they have this great opportunity to improve individually and to collectively be the inaugural team as ATL UTD 2. They've also got the clear motivation of wanting to better themselves individually and collectively then wanting to show something to the first team staff. So it is a nice setup.”
Yosef Samuel, a young year forward, has enjoyed the professionalism he has endured during his short time so far at the club.
“Everybody has to raise the level in what ever they are doing, whether that is training on the field or even keeping the locker room clean,” he said. “You can’t take a day off. If you are not giving 100% all the time you’ll hear it from the players or coaches.
“It’s just very professional. Everybody is very focused, and very friendly at the same time but it’s business. Which is a good thing for young players, like me, to learn.”
Hopefully all of this hard work in preseason will convert to a successful first season in USL for this brand new team.