Tyler Wolff excited about possibilities with Atlanta United

Atlanta United forward Tyler Wolff #28 passes the ball during full team training at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta, Ga., on Monday June 29, 2020. Major League Soccer announced that as of Thursday, June 4, clubs may return to full team training in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Tyler Wolff signed as Atlanta United's most recent Homegrown player for myriad reasons, including family, stability and structure.

“Coming here, from outside in, the system that Atlanta brings from academy to USL to first team, there’s a clear-cut pathway for how an academy player can get to the first team,” he said.

Wolff, 17, had choices. He is the son of of Stone Mountain native and Georgia soccer legend Josh Wolff, who is the manager of Austin FC and formerly an assistant under Gregg Berhalter at Columbus. Wolff grew up in Ohio and was a member of the Crew’s academy. With his dad in Texas, Tyler Wolff could have signed with that franchise.

But the combination of a clear path and family in the area proved to be the difference.

Wolff said he hasn’t spoken with Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer about his role going forward. He said much may depend upon how he performs, should he receive minutes, in the MLS tournament in Orlando. Atlanta United’s first game is scheduled for Saturday against the New York Red Bulls. De Boer said last week that Wolff could make his league debut in the tournament.

Wolff said the most important advice he received from his dad is to get minutes while learning from the coaches and teammates, whether it’s with the first team or with Atlanta United 2 in the USL.

“That’s how players grow,” he said.

Wolff said he tries to model his game after Sergio Aguero, a striker at Manchester City. He said he likes how Aguero always makes runs behind defenses and brings his teammates into games.

Wolff showed some of that at last year’s academy winter showcase, in which he scored six goals in three games, and during the team’s training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He said while there he tried to use the advice given to him by assistants Rob Valentino and Orlando Trustfull: Be yourself.

“He’s only 17, but he surprised me because he has a lot of ability,” Atlanta United centerback Fernando Meza said. “I thought he was older. He has a lot of talent, a lot of potential. He’s a young player, and you have to be patient (with him).”

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