Atlanta United’s youth setup is set for a shake-up after the departure of Youth Technical Director Tony Annan.
Annan, who joined the club in its early days when they absorbed local youth club Georgia United, has taken the head coaching job for the University of South Carolina men’s soccer team.
Perhaps coincidentally, MLS announced an educational partnership with South Carolina last week. The agreement will “give professional soccer players, both current and retired, a chance to earn degrees from the university’s online programs”.
“It’s bittersweet to announce Tony’s departure from Atlanta United, as he has been an integral factor for our success over the last five years and has truly been a pleasure to work with,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “In 2016, we became the first MLS Academy to launch prior to its First Team, and it put us in the position that we are in today, which includes several professional signings who have gone on to play meaningful minutes, as well more than 40 other Academy players who have received Division 1 scholarships. We want to thank Tony for his years of service to the club and wish him success at the University of South Carolina.”
During his time at the club, the Englishman found success early on via results with the youth teams. He helped Atlanta United win their first trophy in club history when he led the U-17’s to a national championship in the 2016-17 season.
In addition to helping a dozen young players sign Homegrown deals with the first team, he’s served as ATL UTD 2’s head coach during the 2020 season.
While he will stay in Atlanta until June, the club are now in search of a replacement for Annan to fill the Academy Director role and for someone to take over as head coach of the USL side.
Congrats on the new job, Tony! Thanks for everything you’ve done for Atlanta United.