Atlanta United sign 16-year-old US youth national team defender Efrain Morales to Homegrown deal

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

Atlanta United have signed defender Efrain Morales to a Homegrown deal, effective for the 2021 season, the club announced Thursday. Morales was part of the club's inaugural U-12 academy team.

Morales, 16, quickly progressed from the U-12s to older age groups, including playing 10 matches with the U-17s when he was just 14-years-old. He was called into the most recent US U-17 national team camp in February. He had previously been called up to the US U-15 squad for camps in August 2018 and January 2019. 

“We’re pleased to announce Efrain as our latest product to sign out of our academy,” VP and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “Efrain has been with us since we started the program in 2016, and credit goes to the hard work of our entire academy staff as Efrain has developed consistently, but still shows a lot of potential. He’s a local kid who joined our academy at a young age, so he thoroughly understands the Atlanta United philosophy and has a strong understanding of how we want to play. We’re eager to see his continued development.”

Morales is the club's eighth Homegrown signing, following Tyler Wolff, who signed in July. 

Atlanta United are set to continue their season under interim head coach Stephen Glass after mutually agreeing to part ways with Frank de Boer after a disappointing showing at the MLS is Back Tournament. 

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