Last night, Andrew Carleton made his MLS debut in front of 44,893 fans that almost seemed equally as excited as the 16-year old phenom. When Atlanta lost two straight to DC United and NYCFC, many fans expressed their desire to see the Powder Springs native listed on the 18. His debut has been highly anticipated since a good run of form in two of Atlanta’s preseason matches. In the 86th minute, we finally got our wish.
While it was his first time seeing the pitch in a regular season MLS match, Carleton is already a fan favorite. Although some credit goes to Miguel Almiron, Bobby Dodd absolutely erupted when it saw #30 make his way onto the field.
Carleton quickly got to work, taking a pass at midfield and dribbling all the way into the attacking third before passing it off to maintain possession. While most kids his age are worried about being a superstar, Carleton proved his unselfishness and maturity after the match. “At first I was just trying to run away from Beasley, I was just trying to get up the field and get away from our goal. It looked like I maybe could’ve gotten through, but being up 4-1 late in the game, I was just trying to kill the game off and keep the ball.” said Andrew.
Fun fact: DaMarcus Beasley made his MLS debut in 2000, the same year Andrew Carleton was born.
We’re really lucky to have the kid. Carleton has been a standout for the United States U17 team, and has drawn interests from European teams. He has proven that he can excel at every level so far, so hopefully he will keep it up if Tata continues to give him the chance.
If you aren’t excited already, here is a video of Carleton putting his superior talent on display: