By all accounts, Andrew Carleton has thrived since Atlanta United loaned him out to USL’s Indy Eleven this season. He’s played in 8 matches, starting in 6 of them, and has 3 assists. Parker Cleveland of DSS fame recently wrote up how Carleton is starting to live up to the hype, and the Armchair Analyst recently gave his seal of approval:
2020: Andrew Carleton Renaissance.— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) August 16, 2020
He’s been the best playmaker in the USL since the restart. I’m here for it. https://t.co/xBGknjQdOW
Carleton seems like a new man on the field, and in a recent interview with the MLS Gone Wild podcast, he opened up about finding his footing in Indianapolis and what went down during his time in Atlanta. (Fives Stripes fans will be happy to know the podcast in no way affiliated with the Girls Gone Wild franchise.)
Carleton had nothing but kind things to say about his former club, as well as his teammates and managers. He also took responsibility for his past indiscretions in Atlanta:
“I 100% own up to all the immaturity, the mistakes that I made in my career. I learned from it. I’ve matured, I’m probably the most mature 20-year-old you’re ever gonna see nowadays. And I think that’s the most important thing for me, is that I learned from my mistakes and have moved on from that. I’m working hard harder than ever in my career to try to get it back to where I want it to be.”
However, Carleton did push back against specific reports about his past misbehavior. As I’m sure all of you will recall, Carleton reportedly wasn’t able to make the trip to Canada for a match against Toronto FC because he forgot his passport. Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was first to report it, with MLSsoccer.com confirming it through a club spokesperson.
Carleton vehemently denies this, although he did not offer any additional detail about why he was left off the roster:
“I did not forget my passport. I never had an opportunity to speak on the situation, but I did not forget my passport. Since I’ve never the opportunity to speak on the situation, I’m not gonna say a whole lot about the situation today, but I did not forget my passport.”
The MLS Gone Wild hosts also brought up the 2018 incident in which Carleton was suspended for the MLS Cup Final. According to a Dirty South Soccer report, Carleton was not allowed to participate in the match, nor the celebration festivities, for violating club policy. No detail beyond that was provided by Atlanta United.
A rumor about why he was suspended soon entered the public conversation, thanks in part to a tweet from Pablo Mauer, now of The Athletic:
Surprised more #ATLUTD fans didn't notice - Carleton was out partying the night before the big match. And he posted it on his Snapchat. That's didn't go over well w/Tata, and it wouldn't have gone over well w/most other coaches, either. #MLS https://t.co/7feFmO85lx— Pablo Iglesias Maurer (@MLSist) December 9, 2018
In the interview, Carleton responded to the allegation, but once again did not share any details to explain the situation further:
“Have you guys seen a video of me out and about before MLS Cup? Do you know anybody who’s seen me out and about before MLS Cup? So maybe we should question what all we see, correct?
“Now, did I do something to get me in trouble before MLS Cup, 100%. However, what is out there in the news world and the soccer world, and all that, is not 100% correct.”
Now while the exact circumstances behind these two suspensions will remain shrouded in mystery, Carleton did provide clarity around makes him tick. “I play soccer, I like clothes, and I like music,” he said.