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Atlanta United 2 hires coach, gets Panama player on loan

Jan 27, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Panama defender Guillermo Benitez (right) heads the ball against USA forward Corey Baird in the first half during an international friendly soccer match at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of acclimating Pity Martinez to his new team and selling off star Miguel Almiron, Atlanta United FC also found time to tend to some housekeeping with its USL Championship affiliate, ATL UTD 2.

The second-tier side announced the hiring of a new head coach earlier this week, Stephen Glass. He replaces Scott Donnelly, who left the club to become a scout for Manchester United. Glass joined Atlanta United in August 2018 to coach the U-17 academy team.

“Coming from our Academy, Stephen understands the club’s philosophy and is a natural fit for Atlanta United 2,” Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He is someone who embodies the club’s core values and recognizes what it takes to be an Atlanta United player.”

Glass, 42, is a native of Scotland and played professionally in his home country, in England and in the U.S. with NASL’s Carolina RailHawks. A midfielder, he made 108 appearances in the English Premier League and English Championship with Newcastle and Watford. He holds UEFA Pro, UEFA A and UEFA B coaching licenses.

ATL UTD 2 also added a new player this week, landing Guillermo Benítez on loan from Panama side C.D. Plaza Amador. A 19-year-old left back, he debuted for Panama’s senior national team just days ago, playing 45 minutes against the U.S. in Glendale, Arizona.

“Guillermo fits the player profile we are looking for at the club,” Glass said in a statement. “He already has international experience, and I am excited to work with him and continue his development here at Atlanta United.”

The length of the loan for Benítez to ATL UTD 2 is for the full 2019 USL Championship season. ATL UTD 2 will begin its second regular season in the league March 9 against Hartford Athletic.

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