(Photo courtesy of USL.com)
Debuting in Week 2 of the action in the USL (United Soccer League), Atlanta United 2 made a statement with a dominant 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls II in their inaugural match. Atlanta United 2 serves as the main vessel between Atlanta United’s academy and their first team and consists partly of players who have already seen their first minutes on the pitch with the first team like Lagos Kunga, and more recently, MIles Robinson. The USL affiliate team allows younger players to develop their abilities all while playing at a high, competitive level.
Atlanta United 2 remain unbeaten in their inaugural season after drawing in their last two matches, 2-2 and 1-1 respectively, which shows the true nature of what this team is all about. It’s great to boast about being undefeated but what we all want, as true Atlanta fans, is progression. The kind of progression that will lead players into the first team’s strategic plan of attack. This progress comes with costs and casualties, and
in this instance, it will come in the form of squeezing out the draw or taking the painful loss. Through these types of matches, Atlanta United 2 can establish their own style of play and ultimately develop the type of players that can provide reinforcement when the first team needs it, because, without being too obvious, things happen. And they happen without warning. Detrimental things, like injuries, can plague players and spoil their chances of playing at the last minute.
Last week, Atlanta United’s defense was in shambles, or so it seemed, strictly from a black and white perspective. Franco Escobar and Greg Garza both remained injured, and Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez was banned from the match due to the accumulation of yellow cards. This prompted head coach Tata Martino to make the decision to bring Mikey Ambrose off the bench and call Miles Robinson back from Atlanta United 2, where he was seeing regular playing time.
Robinson is a player that has seen minutes with the first team in the Carolina Challenge Cup last year and made his official MLS debut last week in Atlanta United’s game against LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club). Now, he is living proof of just how much Atlanta United is beginning to reap the benefits of its’ USL affiliate club. After putting on an impressive defensive performance, Robinson was instrumental to the clean sheet that added to the striking nature of the 5-0 win for Atlanta United at the Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Coming up April 24th in the USL, Atlanta United 2 have the Charleston Battery as their opponents and hope to continue their unbeaten streak alive. And while It’s clear to see that Atlanta United 2 has a plan to win, they are also focused on producing players who are on their way to a higher caliber. The more experience the players get, the better. Better for the players, better for both teams, better for the coaches, and better for the fans. So, we can all rest easy Atlanta, because when the time calls, ATL UTD 2’s got us.
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