This tweet says it all.
Alan Carleton was one of the first kids to wear the Atlanta United badge way back in 2016— ATLUTD Academy (@AcademyATLUTD) March 15, 2023
Seven years later, he’s signing his first pro contract with @atlutd2 pic.twitter.com/oLZFihWv0m
Seven years after he first joined the organization, and 7 years after his older brother became the first Homegrown Player signing in Atlanta United history, Alan Carleton will join Atlanta United 2 as a professional player for the team’s first season in MLS NEXT PRO.
“Alan has been a talented player for the Atlanta United Academy since joining our original class in 2016,” Atlanta United Academy Director Matt Lawrey said. “He is a very technically and tactically gifted player who has shown great composure on the ball in the midfield. We are excited to see him continue his development with our MLS NEXT Pro team this season.”
Despite his smaller frame, Carleton plays a central role for many of his teams, using his strong ball retention and passing abilities to control the game around him. By signing with the 2s, he will be able to continue to develop and physically grow into his best position with the security of being under contract with his hometown team through the end of 2024. This added flexibility has been a boon for other academy graduates like Jackson Conway, Jonny Villal, Vicente Reyes, and David Mejia who were able to start their professional careers with Atlanta United without the immediate pressure of a Homegrown Player contract.
With Luke Brennan and Alan Carelton now locked up by the club, look for more signings from the U-17 and U-19 levels as the club seeks to capitalize on several strong groups of academy prospects over the next couple of years.