WATCH: Carlos Bocanegra talks Atlanta United Soccer Academy with Monica Pearson

Exec tells Monica Pearson, academy has produced dozens of players

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Besides serving as Atlanta United’s vice president and technical director, Carlos Bocanegra also oversees the club’s Academy that began a year before the Major League Soccer franchise even began playing.

Peachtree TV’s Monica Pearson interviewed Bocanegra at the club’s training facility in Marietta.

“This building we’re in right now, it was nothing,” Bocanegra recalled. “It was piles of dirt and we got to design it and be a part of it, [determining] what’s the flow like for the players when they come in the building? Where do they go?

“Where are the recovery stations, the gym, the training room? When players come in the building, they’re pretty lazy. They’re not wanting to do much. I was the same myself. You’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go upstairs to get my recovery shake.’”

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The academy has produced 12 homegrown players and more than 40 players have signed with Division I NCAA programs.

“My drive is that when I’m all done here, I can look back and be proud of me and that’s the team is in a good spot and hopefully leave a nice legacy for this club as a part of the U.S. soccer landscape.”

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Tim Darnell

Tim Darnell

Tim Darnell is the Investigative Digital Content Producer for Atlanta News First.