Atlanta United on Tuesday announced that their USL team will be named Atlanta United 2, abbreviated to ATL UTD 2.
“ATL UTD 2 is the fundamental link in our club’s vertical integration, connecting our academy teams to our first team,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement released by the club. “This team gives us a chance to challenge academy players at the professional level while also giving our first team players an opportunity to stay match fit and when returning from injury. This team will be a blend of local talent and seasoned pros.”
The club also revealed the USL team’s crest, featuring the same circular, five stripe shape as the MLS team with a 2 linked with a golden spike in the center of the emblem.
ATL UTD 2 will play their home games in Gwinnett County, Georgia at Coolray Field, the home of the Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. The stadium, which opened in 2008, will have a soccer capacity of 10,427.
Atlanta United 2’s technical staff and roster will be announced at a later date.
“It will serve us well to have a place where young players can play consistently, especially those who are working hard in training but aren’t seeing many minutes on the field during matches with the first team,” said Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino. “ATL UTD 2 will give them an opportunity to compete at a high level, continue to grow as players and use USL matches as a means to fight for positions in the first team.”