Atlanta United signs three home-grown players, including 15-year-old

ATLANTA -- Atlanta United FC revealed three home-grown players the team signed on Saturday for next season during halftime against Columbus Crew SC.

George Bello, Lagos Kunga and Patrick Okonkwo each signed contracts that go into effect on January 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 in a statement.

Bello is just 15 years-old. The defender is from Douglasville, Ga. He made 20 appearances and 19 starts for the club's U-16 team. He's spent most of his career on the U.S. Youth National Circuit, and he was part of the U-15 team that won the Torneo Delle Nazioni.

Kunga is an 18-year-old forward from Atlanta. He scored 10 goals in 21 games with the organization's U-18 club. He was called up to play with the USMNT U-20 World Cup where he scored one goal.

Okonkwo is 18 and from Atlanta. He led Atlanta United's U-18 team with 26 goals in 29 games, which was the third-most in all of USSDA U-18 age group.

“It’s a proud day for our program and for each of these three young men,” Atlanta United Academy Director Tony Annan said in a statement. “George, Lagos and Patrick have shown an unrelenting determination to get to this point and I have the utmost confidence in each of them to realize their maximum potential. At the end of the day, our Academy is dedicated to the development of each of our players, and collectively as a staff, we couldn’t be happier for these three who have made the next step in their progression.”

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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