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MLS: Three Atlanta United youth players sign HG deals
by Paul Kennedy, June 19th, 2017 4:16AM
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TAGS:  atlanta united, development academy, u.s. under-20 men's national team, under-20 world cup

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Atlanta United signed Lagos Kunga, who represented the USA at the 2017 Under-20 World Cup, Patrick Okonkwo, another forward on its U-18 team, and 15-year George Bello to Homegrown contracts effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“Since our club’s inception, we have been dedicated to identifying and developing the best local youth talent and today, George, Lagos and Patrick have earned the opportunity to take that next step forward,” Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “Each player has been the beneficiary of the continued integration between our first team and academy and they’ve proven they belong at this level.”

Atlanta United has one of the deepest player pools of any MLS club. It signed U.S. U-17 starters Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin in 2016.

Lagos was a last-minute addition to the U.S. U-20 team. He was born in Angola, and his family migrated to Russia before moving to Atlanta. He scored 10 goals in 21 appearances for the Atlanta United U-18s this season.
 
Okonkwo led the Atlanta United U-18s with 26 goals in 29 appearances, the third-highest production in all of USSDA for the U-18 age group.

Bello, a defender from Douglasville, Ga., plays for Atlanta United's U-16s. He is considered one of the top defenders in the youth national team program. In April, Bello started four games for the U.S. U-15s, who won the Torneo Delle Nazioni.


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