ATL UTD 2 today announced the first player signings in club history in AJ Cochran, Diego Lopez, Jack Metcalf and Yosef Samuel, pending league and federation approval.
“We are very pleased to welcome AJ, Jack, Diego, and Yosef to ATL UTD 2,” head coach Scott Donnelly said. “Both AJ and Jack will lend experience and leadership to the group while Diego and Yosef are exciting young players who fit nicely into the club’s style of play. I couldn’t be happier to start building our roster with this group of players.”
Cochran, Metcalf, and Samuel all have USL experience while Lopez has been a standout in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and a mainstay on the U.S. Youth National Team circuit.
Cochran, a 24-year-old central defender, spent his last two seasons playing in his hometown with St. Louis FC of the USL where he made 49 total appearances. He was a first-round MLS SuperDraft pick by Houston Dynamo in 2014. Cochran made 26 MLS appearances in two seasons for the Dynamo. He was a three-year starter at the University of Wisconsin prior to signing a Generation Adidas deal in 2014.
A 16-year-old forward from Chino, California, Lopez comes to ATL UTD 2 after spending his youth career with FC Golden State, which is coached by Jimmy Nordberg, one of the top youth coaches in southern California. Lopez represented the U.S. Youth National Teams at the U-15 and U-17 levels in 2017. He was part of the U-15 squad which won the prestigious Torneo Delle Nazioni in Italy and was one of 20 players called into the U-17 team for the 2017 Men’s Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Metcalf, a 26-year-old defender from Liverpool, England, comes to Atlanta after spending 2017 with Bangor City of the Welsh Premier League. Prior to that, he played with Charlotte Independence of the USL from 2015-16 where he made 40 appearances. Metcalf played with Liverpool F.C. and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. at the youth level before playing collegiately at Clemson University.
Samuel is a 20-year-old midfielder/forward who spent the last two seasons with Bethlehem Steel FC, Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate, where he made more than 20 appearances. A graduate of the Union’s academy, Samuel played two seasons in Philadelphia’s youth system with the U-18 club where he scored 10 goals in 37 appearances. Samuel was born in Ethiopia but is a native of Atlanta after moving to the U.S. in 2007.
ATL UTD 2’s season begins on March 24 against New York Red Bulls II at Coolray Field for the club’s inaugural match. For the full schedule, and details on ticket information for ATL UTD 2, please visit www.atlutd/2.