Atlanta United 2 hires its first coach

Scott Donnelly is shown in this file photo. (Southern Illinois Edwardsville)

Scott Donnelly is shown in this file photo. (Southern Illinois Edwardsville)

Scott Donnelly will be the first coach of Atlanta United 2, the USL affiliate of MLS club Atlanta United.

Donnelly was an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 men’s national team and a technical advisor for northeast region of the United States Soccer Federation.

ATL UTD 2 will play at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.

Donnelly’s career includes stops as an assistant at Washington College in Chestertown, Md.; the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.; Northern Illinois; and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. He was head coach at Mars Hill in North Carolina from 2007-08.

“Scott has a strong track record of helping develop young players, and we’re happy to bring him on board to lead our USL staff,” Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement from the team. “He’s a great fit with his head coaching experience in addition to his knowledge of the youth setup and structure in the country.”

Donnelly joined Southern Illinois in 2012 as an associate head coach and left for U.S. Soccer in 2014 after leading the Cougars to a national ranking for results and for recruiting, as well as helping developing Matt Polster, who now plays for Chicago.

“I am excited to join ATL UTD 2 as the first head coach,” Donnelly said in a statement from the team. “I am confident we can play an integral role in the club’s overall pyramid and provide a platform for our young players to perform and develop while supporting the First Team. As the bridge between the Academy and the First Team, our goals will be to not only prepare and push our players, but also to put together a strong team that represents this club and the fans of Atlanta United.”

ATL UTD 2’s season will being in March. The team will help Atlanta United develop players for its first team.