After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the adidas Generations Cup is back with U-15 and U-17 teams from around the world vying for the top spot. Atlanta United sent two talented teams to Texas who didn’t receive the same fanfare as the other academies due to a perceived lack of individual star strength, but the five teams were often some of the deepest and best trained in the tournament.
The Under-17 side played well, advancing from the group stage by defeating FC Cincinnati and drawing with New England and Celtic from the Scottish Premier League. Overall, the Under-17 team failed to muster up a lot of offensive threats, as they lost in the first round of the qualifiers to a top 4 team Inter Miami with a score of 2-1. Now a regular at Atlanta United 2, Luke Brennan has continued to show promise as a potential future professional for Atlanta United with his consistently strong performances.
The under-15 team played a more impressive tournament by defeating FC Porto, Philadelphia Union, and Rayados and Tigres of Liga MX, and tied with Portland before losing in the semi-finals to Valencia. The entire U-15 squad looked impressive and showed off their versatility with three front and center midfield constantly throwing fresh looks and new pressure on opponents. The defense remained strong and rookie goalkeeper Jonathan Ransom appeared to be in the role.
The player who stood out from this impressive group of youngsters was midfielder-turned-midfielder Adyn Torres. Torres was an absolute threat to the Under-15 player, doing well as a midfielder but also showing his quality as a strong presence up front to facilitate the attack and present himself as a scoring threat. He missed a lot of the team’s only loss against Valencia with the accumulation of yellow cards that kept him on the sidelines. Torres’ impressive performance earned him a Best IX on a team made up of the best U-15 and U-17 players of the tournament.
Adyn Torres, Atlanta United U-15
AtlantaThe team’s semi-final arrival was about the team making the most of transitional moments, and moving forward before the opponent was set. Torres confirmed that his team could throw numbers forward, on a regular basis, as he helped lock the spine down and provide an outlet in accumulated play. He was one of the best under-15 players on screen.
His fellow Torres, Ashton Gordon (F) and Rocket Ritarita (AM) were named to the honor roll for Best IX of the tournament. Gordon’s presence was quick and diligent which made defending against defenses uncomfortable the entire time he was on the field. When he wasn’t attacking them with a hard hit, he pestered them with line splits at every turn. Ritarita showed a great deal of quality as a #10 receiver similar to the quality we’ve seen from Jonantan Villal. Like Villal and Tyler Wolff, he can play as a wide striker and attacking midfielder capable of making his own shots and feeding his teammates.
Congratulations to Adyn, Ashton and Rocket on this honor, and congratulations to their teammates and coaches on their outstanding performance against quality opponents.
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