Behind the scenes of Atlanta United’s youth development soccer league
An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the team’s U17 group
Although soccer doesn’t have quite the cultural footprint that basketball and football have in the United States (yet), the sport continues to grow in popularity in Atlanta. The city played a key role in the bid for the World Cup to come to North America in 2026, and its soccer team, Atlanta United, attracts an average of 48,200 attendees, a league record. And one of the ways the sport can take hold in more imaginations is through accessible youth leagues.
The Atlanta United Academy launched in 2016, just before Atlanta United’s first season in the MLS. The academy consists of seven age groups: U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19 and the participants train and compete at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta, Georgia, 20 miles north of Atlanta. The Undefeated gives you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the U17 group as they train, compete at a road game in Nashville, Tennessee, and bond with each other in the week before the start of World Cup madness.
Danielle A. Scruggs is a photo editor for The Undefeated. She is a Chicago native and firmly believes no sports team will ever be as great as the Chicago Bulls during their three-peat eras.