New Faces in ATLUTD training for CCL
by Jason Longshore
Atlanta United released their provisional roster for the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League restart. Atlanta will play the second leg of their quarterfinal against Club America on either December 15 or 16 in Orlando at Exploria Stadium. They trail in the quarterfinal 3-0 on aggregate after the first leg played at the Estadio Azteca on March 11.
Three players on the roster are currently injured and unavailable for selection: Josef Martinez, Brooks Lennon, and Alec Kann. Martinez is still recovering from his knee injury suffered on Feb. 29 and subsequent surgery. Lennon and Kann had minor surgeries after the MLS regular season. All are expected to be ready for the start of training for the 2021 season.
Five players contracted to Atlanta United 2 in 2020 are part of the provisional roster. Get to know them below:
GK Ben Lundgaard
No surprise for Lundgaard to get the call to training with Kann being unavailable. He will be competing with Brendan Moore to backup Brad Guzan.
Lundgaard started 13 matches this season in his first year with the club. He made an average of 3.6 saves per match. He was comfortable in possession, completing his passes at a 76% clip and completed 7 long balls per game. 2020 was his most extensive work at the pro level after signing in 2018 with Columbus and spending time on loan at Indy Eleven and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
RB Jack Gurr 2020 was Gurr's first season as a professional and he made a strong impact with the 2's from his right back position. He was 6th in the entire USL Championship in chances created. The Newcastle, England native created 2.3 chances per match, was one of the team's leaders in touches, and proved to be an accurate crosser. Gurr also showed the propensity for the spectacular with this goal against The Miami FC:
Gurr joined Atlanta United 2 after playing for four years at Georgia Gwinnett College and spending time in the NPSL with the Georgia Revolution.
RW Phillip Goodrum
Another first year pro, Goodrum primarily played on the right wing but also lined up on the left and as a striker for the 2's this season. Goodrum also showed a strong defensive workrate, winning tackles and recovering possession consistently. He scored two goals this season and led the team in assists. Check out his work here in creating for Jackson Conway:
Originally from Nashville, Goodrum was a star at UNC Wilmington who started every match in his collegiate career.
F Jackson Conway
The long-term development of Jackson Conway's game has been a joy to watch at Atlanta United. He played for the U15's in their first-ever league match back in 2016. He's earned call-ups to US youth national teams and signed a pro contract with Atlanta United 2 ahead of the 2019 season.
His season in 2020 saw him overcome injuries to score 6 goals in 10 matches. So many of them weren't ordinary goals either, they were bangers. Like this one on the road in Florida in July:
In addition to his scoring touch, Conway showed an ability in 2020 to play out wide from time to time. Strong technical ability along with some surprising quickness give him a variety of tools to use to produce in the attack.
F Erik López This match could be Erik López's debut in any Atlanta United shirt. Upon joining the club from Olimpia in his native Paraguay, he trained with the first team rather than playing matches in the USL Championship. He will be part of the MLS roster in 2021.
López broke through at Olimpia after making his first team debut on August 26, 2019 with a goal against Deportivo Santaní. He ended up scoring 4 in 15 starts during the Apertura that Olimpia won. The start of 2020 saw López join the Paraguay U23 squad in their attempt to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. He started one match and played in another as the youngest member of the squad at the South American qualifying tournament. His last appearance for Olimpia, his 16th in total, was off the bench on February 17.
(photo credit: ATLUTD 2)