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3 clubs in state join MLS youth initiative

Community members participate in a soccer event hosted by YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading, and Serving, Inc.) to promote community engagement on Franklin Gateway at The Gallery apartment complex on Saturday, March 25, 2017. One of the boldest and most aggressive revitalization efforts in the metro Atlanta region will celebrate a major milestone later this year with the opening of Atlanta United’s $60 million soccer complex on Franklin Gateway in Marietta. But the community has incurred losses as a result of the redevelopment. The new facilities are replacing four apartment buildings that were bought and razed by the city, displacing some residents. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Community members participate in a soccer event hosted by YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading, and Serving, Inc.) to promote community engagement on Franklin Gateway at The Gallery apartment complex on Saturday, March 25, 2017. One of the boldest and most aggressive revitalization efforts in the metro Atlanta region will celebrate a major milestone later this year with the opening of Atlanta United’s $60 million soccer complex on Franklin Gateway in Marietta. But the community has incurred losses as a result of the redevelopment. The new facilities are replacing four apartment buildings that were bought and razed by the city, displacing some residents. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Atlanta United is one of three clubs from Georgia that joined the MLS new youth-development platform.

Other clubs that joined are Lanier Soccer Academy and Southern Soccer Academy.

The initiative was the result of last month’s dissolution of the Development Academy run by U.S. Soccer. Sixty-five clubs that were in the DA are now part of the MLS platform, which has 95 teams composed of more than 8,000 players.

The platform will focus on “year-round competition, as well as player-identification initiatives, coaching-education opportunities, and additional programming to create the premier player-development environment,” according to MLS.