Carleton isn’t the youngest player to appear in MLS. Freddy Adu remains the youngest at 14 years, 306 days when he debuted on April 3, 2004.
Carleton he will keep his jersey as a memento, take what he learned and apply to it next his appearance.
“He has enormous potential,” teammate Yamil Asad said. “His future depends upon him. We are going to try our best to keep giving him confidence.”
Atlanta United’s supporters have been clamoring to see Carleton for most of the season, an expectation that was heightened after he made two solid performances in preseason games.
Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino said he inserted Carleton for two reasons: he wanted to give Miguel Almiron, who scored three goals, a chance to receive applause, and he wanted to give Carleton a debut in a no-pressure situation.
Almiron said he tried to give Carleton a blessing as the two hugged just before Carleton stepped onto the field. Almiron laughed and said he’s not sure Carleton understood him.
“Now, he is debuted at 16 years of age and there is less of a demand and less pressure on him for that,” Martino said.