UPDATE: 26 June 2023
Thank you for everything in making this happen. Will miss this place. All the best!❤️ Atl forever in my heart https://t.co/wsGy8lJVwD— Vicente Reyes (@_VicenteReyes30) June 26, 2023
Norwich City’s press release included a few remarks from Reyes about his thoughts about the transfer and early conversations with Ed Wootten, his new goalkeeper coach:
Discussing his move to the Canaries and his development, Reyes said: “It feels amazing, it’s a dream come true to come to England.
“I spoke to the ‘keeper coach (Ed Wootten) and said I want to take it day-by-day, and don’t get ahead of myself.
“I can’t wait to get started here.”
Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra also commented on the transfer through Atlanta’s press release:
“Ultimately, this was a situation where an opportunity arose that made sense for both parties to accept the transfer. We wish him the best of luck at Norwich and in his future endeavors.”
I think all of us can echo Bocanegra in wishing Reyes, a member of our first class of academy prospects, a bright future at Norwich City and beyond.
Those of you who follow Atlanta United’s academy and Atlanta United 2 have likely heard the name Vicente Reyes. He has appeared in many of my “Next Homegrown” articles with his ascent from academy keeper to Chilean U-20 starter documented here on DirtySouthSoccer, the AJC, and the Striker. By everyone looking from the outside, and I’m sure by many from the inside of Atlanta United, Vicente Reyes was seen as the future of the goalkeeping position for Atlanta United. He signed his first professional contract with Atlanta United 2 in 2022, a year and a half after making his debut with the 2s at just 16 years old. With his 2s contract coming to an end at the conclusion of the 2023 season, many speculated that a first-team contract was in the works because (surely) the club would realize the immense competition brewing for this ascendant keeper’s services.
That competition seems to have won.
Diego Vega of AS Chile is reporting that Vicente Reyes is set to join Norwich FC of the English Championship. Reyes was reportedly one of the top young targets for newly-relegated Norwich after being pleased with the performance of Chilean central midfielder Marcelino Núñez last season. Many in the Chilean soccer community see Reyes as one of their nation’s shining hopes so pairing him with another of his national team compatriots in a strong European league for the development of young talent is already being celebrated within the federation.
Some of our eagle-eyed press team spotted Reyes with his father and agent at the last Atlanta United match so they may be negotiating an early exit from Atlanta United to join Norwich in their preseason after the summer window opens.
It is not yet known whether Reyes will remain with Norwich for the upcoming season or if he will be loaned out to get a better chance to compete for minutes. Norwich already has veteran goalkeepers Angus Gunn and Tim Krul under contract through at least the end of the 2024 season and will welcome back 22-year-old Daniel Barden from his loan at Maidstone United of the English fifth tier. An ideal situation may be for them to loan him back to Atlanta for the remainder of 2023 through the 2024 season but that is not a highly likely scenario.
Congratulations to Vicente Reyes for realizing his dream of playing in Europe, and best of luck to him in his development. We will continue following this story and will provide updates as it develops.