Atlanta United has signed academy director Tony Annan to a “multiyear” contract extension, the club announced Friday.
Annan joined Atlanta United in April 2016 as academy manager. He was appointed to his current position in December of that year. Prior to his tenure with the Five Stripes, Annan founded the Georgia United Development Academy program, which absorbed into Atlanta United’s academy. He also has worked as a scout and coach with the United States Soccer Federation.
“Youth development is a key component for Atlanta United and critical in the club’s growth as part of the international soccer landscape.” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a press release “We’re excited that Tony will continue to build upon the infrastructure we have in place. Around the world, it has taken years to properly build academy systems, and Tony has done a remarkable job in a short period of time in both the development of young players, as well as the on-field success against already-established academies throughout the USA and Canada.
With Tony’s leadership, we look forward to developing the next great stars of Atlanta United here in our backyard.”
Annan says “continuity is imperative in youth development” and that he is “eager for our future and to build on the successes that we’ve had.” Atlanta United so far has signed eight players from its academy to professional contracts. Thirty-one players from the academy have earned NCAA Division I scholarships.
“More than anything else, Tony has done a tremendous job of implementing our club’s style of play and core values across all of our academy teams featuring more than 130 youth players,” Atlanta vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “In addition, despite only existing for three years, we’ve been able to monitor our overall progress, which has led to the cultivation of a holistic player development approach. Tony has played a major role in implementing that philosophy.”
Atlanta United returns to the field Tuesday, June 11, for a U.S. Open Cup game at the Charleston Battery. The fourth-round contest will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.