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Atlanta United 2 Opens 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Season against Orlando City B

March 15, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Atlanta United 2 News Release

ATLANTA - Atlanta United 2 is set to kick off the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season Saturday, March 16 when the team hosts Orlando City B at Fifth Third Stadium. The match is scheduled to kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, while fans can also tune in to the Soccer Down Here audio stream.

Cooke in the Kitchen

Head coach Steve Cooke returns for his second year on the sideline after coaching his squad to a 9-13-6 (W-L-D, 33 points) record in 2023. In their first season at the helm, Cooke and his staff helped develop multiple talents that now appear on Atlanta United's First Team squad, including Nick Firmino, who was named to the MLS NEXT Pro Best XI after finishing with a single-season club record 16 goals while his combined 22 goals and assists tied him for second in MLS NEXT Pro. Last year's roster also featured Homegrown talents Luke Brennan, Noah Cobb, Efraín Morales and Adyn Torres, all of which currently have a contract with Atlanta United's First Team.

New Year, New Faces

ATL UTD 2's 2024 roster features a slew of new names, including the club's two 2024 MLS SuperDraft picks: former University of Connecticut goalkeeper Jayden Hibbert and Oregon State University midfielder Javier Armas. Free agent signings include goalkeeper John Berner, defenders Matt Edwards and Daniel Russo, midfielders Noble Okello and Jacob Williams, and forward Ashton Gordon, who earned a contract after his performances at the Academy. Matías Gallardo, Alan Carleton and Karim Tmimi headline returning players for ATL UTD 2, as well as Erik Centeno, who will be on loan with the squad for the 2024 season.

Previous Meeting

Atlanta United 2 played Orlando City B to a 1-1-1 (W-L-D) record in 2023, taking five points after winning a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw in regulation. The most recent matchup between the two squads resulted in a 3-2 road loss for ATL UTD 2. Despite taking a 2-1 lead over Orlando City B in the first half thanks to goals from Jackson Conway and Nick Firmino, Atlanta United 2 saw their lead slip away to a 10-man squad that netted two goals within two minutes in the second half. ATL UTD 2 found a chance to level the contest in stoppage time, but a long-range shot rattled off the post and Orlando took the match, 3-2.

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