Atlanta United II hire English Premier League vet as head coach

Atlanta United has underwhelmed this season. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta United has underwhelmed this season. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta United has a new coach for their USL team in former English Premier League midfielder Jack Collison. The move comes to fill a void for Atlanta United II when Stephen Glass left for Aberdeen in Scotland’s Premier League.

In Collison, Atlanta United II is adding a personality who has extensive experience as a player but will be making his coaching debut this weekend against Louisville City FC. Prior to this role in the USL, Collison had worked with Atlanta United’s academy teams and has experience at the academy level in his native England with Peterborough and West Ham.

“Jack has done a tremendous job with our Academy teams since joining the organization and he will make a seamless transition to ATL UTD 2,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement released by the club. “He’s quickly proven to have a bright future in the managerial world.”

Beginning in 2007 until he retired in 2016, Collison played in the English Premier League for West Ham, making 70 top flite appearances while also featuring heavily in the Championship as well. He’s represented Wales 15 times during his career.

Atlanta United II was formed in 2018 as a reserve team for the MLS side. It has been useful for the club in terms of player development and also being an outlet for an often deep senior side to be able to find competitive and useful minutes.

The team has failed to make the playoffs in all three years of their existence.

“I’m really excited and honored to be given this opportunity and would like to thank the club for putting their faith in me,” Collison said in a statement. “Having spent the last two seasons in the academy, it has given me a real understanding of what it is to be a part of this incredible club. I am looking forward to the challenge and cannot wait to get started.”

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter @KristianRDyer