Carleton was the team’s first Homegrown Signing. Atlanta United beat out a few clubs in Europe to sign a player who was then considered a future U.S. men’s national team cornerstone at midfield after stellar performances with the youth national teams.
However, Carleton’s career in MLS has yet to take off. He has just two starts as part of 11 appearances in two-plus seasons. Atlanta United has continued to sign midfielders who have earned starts ahead of Carleton, including Ezequiel Barco and Dion Pereira.
Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst said he and other veterans on the team have had several conversations with Carleton and the team’s other younger players about professionalism.
“We all want the best for Andy,” Parkhurst said. “Hopefully he plays for another 15-20 years, but the reality is some guys don’t. They don’t get out of it. Hopefully, lessons are learned along the way. Among that first group of Homegrowns, we need guys to understand the reality and step up and take advantage of opportunities.”