Former Chattanooga FC Academy player Joseph Collins is making an immediate impact with Atlanta United’s academy.
Collins and his Atlanta United team joined five other MLS academies as well as Serie A club Bologna FC 1909 in the Montreal International U14 Tournament.
Collins was the tournament’s joint-top scorer with three goals and has been described as “an exciting young talent”.
The teams went 1-3-2 in the tournament. Collins had goals in the 2-0 win over DC United and the 3-2 loss against Montreal Nord.
Collins is the first Chattanooga FC Academy player to be offered a full-time position to train with an MLS team in its Development Academy.
Born in Accra, Ghana in West Africa, he and his brothers were adopted from an orphanage in 2010 by Kathleen and Tim Collins. Joseph was just 7 years old when he came to Chattanooga. Soccer was already a favorite pastime for them all. Older brother, Godfred, played with Joseph on the 2001 Premier team. Older brother, Clinton, played for the 98s last year. Younger brother, Phillip, is making his own mark as a u12.
As far as advice for other CFC Academy players?
“I would tell them to keep working hard," Collins said.
"When you do something keep doing it. Don’t just quit, keep playing and working and you’ll get better every day.”
The ATLUTD Development Academy is the highest level of youth soccer programming in the U.S. by providing a 10-month season similar to what's found around the world. It receives oversight from U.S. Soccer. The Development Academy establishes a pathway from youth to professional by integrating the academy within a professional club. The day-to-day environment fosters the pursuit of excellence. Players receive support in areas of medicine, sciences, performance, and advising.
Prior to its first season in MLS, Atlanta United has launched its fully funded Academy and has begun competing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program this year. The Atlanta United Academy consists of teams in age groups U-12, U-13, U-14, U-16, and U-18. Shared with the first team, the Academy will train and compete out of the new state-of-the-art training ground located in Marietta, GA beginning in 2017. All Academy teams train and play within a mile of the new training facility during the 2016 fall season.
The Atlanta United Academy system will provide a clear pathway for players who show the required potential, ability and desire to reach the first team as a homegrown player. Atlanta United will also assist athletes in pursuing opportunities to play soccer at top colleges and universities across the United States. Home to comprehensive, modern and fully equipped coaching, sports science, athletic and medical departments, the Atlanta United Academy will be the premier soccer club locally, regionally and nationally.
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