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Atlanta United’s George Bello, Will Reilly called up for U.S. under-17 roster

Sep 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United defender George Bello (21) on the field after defeating Real Salt Lake at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA — It’s been quite the week for Atlanta United left back George Bello, who became the sixth youngest player in Major League Soccer history to score a goal when he found the back of the net for the Five Stripes Saturday.

Bello’s goal came in the 16th minute of a 2-1 win for Atlanta United against the New England Revolution. It was the second MLS start of Bello’s career.

On Tuesday, the club announced Bello, 16, and fellow Atlanta academy product Will Reilly had been called up to the United States’ under-17 squad by coach Shaun Tsakiris to compete in the 2018 U-17 International Youth Tournament.

Games in the tournament begin Friday and run through Tuesday, Oct. 16. The U.S. will play in three games against Brazil, Russia and the tournament’s host country, England.

The tournament marks the final gathering for the U-17 USMNT before the group begins preparations for the 2018 Nike International Friendlies in late November.

Bello is a native of Nigeria but grew up in Douglasville, Ga., and was signed to a Homegrown contract with Atlanta United on June 17, 2017. He has been called into U.S. camps on several levels, up to the U-18s. This season, he’s made three appearances in Major League Soccer and has also started six games at the United Soccer League level for ATL UTD 2.

Reilly, 16, is from Decatur, Ga., and will be making his first appearance with the U.S. U-17 group. He’s been in Atlanta United’s academy system since 2016 and typically plays in the midfield. He’s appeared in seven games with Atlanta’s academy teams, notching two goals.

Bello is expected to return to Atlanta United before its next game, Oct. 21 versus the Chicago Fire. During this open FIFA window, the club will also be without American goalkeeper Brad Guzan, Paraguayan winger Hector “Tito” Villalba and Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez, who were all called up to their respective national teams.

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