The Atlanta United U-19 academy team got off to a flying start in a prestigious German youth competition, defeating Liverpool, 4-3, in their first match of the small-sided indoor tournament held at the Glaspalast (Glass Palace) in Sindelfingen, Germany Saturday.
Evangelo Spartiatis struck for an early brace, followed by a deflected goal by Kendall Edwards to give Atlanta a 3-1 halftime lead. Liverpool rallied to level the match before Jackson Conway struck for the winner with a tap-in.
ATLUTD fell to FC Schalke, 2-0, and 4-1 to host VfB Stuttgart with Dylan Gaither scoring the lone goal, to close out Group B play Saturday.
Atlanta will meet Glasgow Rangers and Bayern Munich Sunday in crossover matches with the top two teams advancing to the semifinals.
The tournament, in its 29th year, has featured some of the top youth players in the world from more than 40 nations with future stars like Mesut Özil, Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira, Marcus Rashford, Leroy Sane and Bacary Sagna among nearly 100 participants going on to become national team players. The event also features a parallel competition with teams made up of Daimler factory apprentices.