Atlanta United signed Efrain Morales as a Homegrown Player on Aug. 12, 2020, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The 16-year-old defender is the first player to sign from the academy’s inaugural U-12 team.
Morales was loaned from Atlanta United to Atlanta United 2 on April 16 for the entire 2021 season. The defender made six total appearances in the USL Championship with two starts. Injuries cut his season short as Morales played 151 total minutes in the 2021 season for ATLUTD 2.
Morales joined the Atlanta United Academy for its inaugural season in 2016-17, playing for the U-12s. He made 22 appearances and scored four goals. He quickly jumped age groups the following season, splitting time equally between the U-15s and U-14s and appearing in 16 matches for each team.
He broke through during the 2018-19 season, where he was called-up to the U.S. U-15 National Team for camps in August 2018 and January 2019. Although he was only 14 years old at the time, Morales again jumped age groups for the USSDA 2018-19 season, joining Atlanta’s U-17s for 10 matches, in addition to appearing in 10 matches for the U-15s. Last season, Morales mostly played for Atlanta’s U-17s and was most recently called into the U.S. U-17 National Team camp in February 2020, a key camp for the 2021 U-17 FIFA World Cup.
Morales made four appearances with Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship in 2020. He scored in his professional debut on Aug. 15, 2020, coming on as a substitute against Charleston Battery.
2021 (ATL UTD 2): Was loaned to ATLUTD 2 in the USL Championship for the entire 2021 season. Made six appearances with two starts. Totaled 151 minutes in the USL Championship in 2021.
2020 (Atlanta United 2): Morales made four appearances with Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship in 2020. He scored in his professional debut on Aug. 15, 2020, coming on as a substitute against Charleston Battery.