Atlanta United 2 finalized its technical staff for the upcoming season under head coach Stephen Glass. Henry Apaloo will join as assistant coach and Ricardo Oliveira will serve as the team’s fitness coach.
“I’m pleased to add Henry and Ricardo to our staff,” Glass said. “While both of them bring quality coaching and playing experience, they also align properly with the club’s philosophy and will be a great resource for all of our players.”
Apaloo comes from University of South Florida where he spent the last two years as assistant coach of the men’s soccer team. Apaloo is a native of Blackburn, England and came up through the Premier League Academy League with spells at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers. He spent two years with Preston North End FC, and also played for the England National Futsal Team in the summer of 2008.
Oliveira joins from Georgia State where he was an assistant for the men’s soccer team and was responsible for sports performance and acted as goalkeeper coach. Oliveira played for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the National Premier Soccer League in 2017 and 2018. He is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Speaking to media last week, Glass drove home the point that he wanted to create a team in Atlanta United 2 that looks like Atlanta United. But when he talks about how the team looks, he’s not talking about technical quality or formations. What Glass really wants to see is a team that works as hard as the first team.
“I think it’s important when people come to the games, they see an Atlanta United team and that the players and the staff are proud to represent the club,” said Glass. “I think you’ll see that in the performance, the effort. I can’t really talk much about what happened last year as I was in the academy and didn’t have my eyes on it. You’re going to see a group that’s working the way I want it to work, regardless if that’s academy guys coming up, first team players coming to play with us, I think everybody’s going to be pulling in the same direction.”
Glass earned his way up through Atlanta United’s academy for the opportunity to manage the club’s USL side. But he also knows how incredibly lucky he is to have taken charge under a first team manager in Frank de Boer who not only is a legend in his own right, but is a coach that cares about developing young players through the pipeline that Glass now oversees.
“We had some pretty good contact, which was great,” said Glass about his talks with de Boer before the first team left for training camp in California. “I think the important thing is we are both coaches who are here to work within the structure of Atlanta United. There’s not going to be crazy ideas, there’s not going to be some off the wall tactics going on. I think we both understand the game well, and I’m fortunate to be able to tap into a resource like Frank de Boer in order to make myself a better coach and to produce players that can hopefully play for the first team.”
ATL UTD 2 kicks off its second season in its new home of Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia on March 9 against USL Championship expansion team Hartford Athletic at 7:30 p.m. EST.