Atlanta United left back George Bello was not included on the roster released Monday evening for the United States Men’s National Team training camp and friendly against El Salvador next week.
A source told Dirty South Soccer on Saturday that Bello’s participation with the national team in the December camp was dependent upon the club allowing him to be released. An Atlanta United spokesperson told Dirty South Soccer Monday that the club did not interfere with a potential call-up for the 18-year old left back. With the friendly taking place outside of a FIFA international window, clubs are not required to release players to their national teams.
Regardless, it’ll be a disappointment for Bello, who conceivably could’ve played in the friendly, which U.S. Soccer announced Sunday will take place Dec. 9, before the team’s participation in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals against Club America on Dec. 16.
Bello trained with an isolated small group in accordance with covid protocols as the team resumed training Monday after a hiatus since the team’s regular season ended.
Bello has featured heavily for the United States in the youth ranks, most recently starting two of three games for the U.S. in the U-17 World Cup in Brazil. In 2016-17, Bello was named the the Eastern Conference Player of the Season by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy at just 15 years of age.
But Bello’s biggest career breakthrough came this year. In what was a dismal season for the team, Bello’s performances were a regular source of optimism for fans and club brass. The 18-year-old started 19 of Atlanta United’s 23 games during the 2020 campaign after having only appeared three times under Tata Martino in 2018 and never in a league match under Frank de Boer in 2019.