Photos of Brooks Lennon during training at Atlanta United Training Ground in Marietta, Georgia , on Monday January 13, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)
Photo: Brooks Lennon/Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United
Photo: Brooks Lennon/Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Lennon ready to do work at wingback for Atlanta United

Brooks Lennon said Thursday that Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer sees him as a wingback on the right or left. 

“Bombing up and down, providing support in attack and helping to defend as well,” he said.

Atlanta United acquired Lennon in a trade with Real Salt Lake in December in exchange for $150,000 in General Allocation Money and $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.

Lennon said his first three days in training camp have gone well.

“I’m feeling more comfortable in every training session and shown what I can do so far,” he said.

A more natural wingback, Lennon moved to fullback at Real Salt Lake when the manager asked him to after a spate of injuries. In his career in Sandy, Utah, Lennon made 86 appearances, including 63 starts, with three goals and four assists.  He played well enough to earn a call-up to a U.S. men’s national team camp. He was wanted again for the ongoing January camp, but Atlanta United declined the invitation.

Lennon said in December that he hopes to post career-highs in goals (4) and assists (6) if he plays wingback with Atlanta United, which used the formation for most of the second half of the 2019 season.

Lennon said he hasn’t watched film of how Julian Gressel and Franco Escobar played the position last season, but he did watch a lot of Atlanta United’s games live.

Atlanta United is strong at wingback on the right side, but thin on the left. On the right, the team has Escobar and  Gressel, who have proved themselves. On the left, the team has 17-year-old George Bello, who didn’t start a league game last season. The team is interested in signing 33-year-old Edgar Castillo, but a deal hasn’t been finalized.

“I think I bring energy, in training I bring a competitive side,” Lennon said. “Trying to keep the intensity in training high and in the games doing everything I can and in MLS so far to help the team win.”

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