- Doug Roberson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta United Homegrown George Bello is considered one of the top left fullbacks in the U.S. system.
Bello, 16, is participating in his first training camp with the Five Stripes in Florida.
“It’s been great,” he said. “Ever since I was little I’ve been dreaming of playing professional soccer. To wake up and do this every day is a dream come true.”
Bello, a native of Douglasville, is one of five Homegrowns signed by Atlanta United. Four are participating in training camp: Bello, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin and Lagos Kunga.
Bello has been leaning on Greg Garza and Mikey Ambrose, Atlanta United’s left fullbacks, for advice as he continues his professional path. He said their best piece of advice is to give everything during every training session.
“They’ve been great to me,” he said. “Giving me tips and tools. They’ve been very welcoming, as has everyone else.”
Of course, Bello is also relying on his fellow Homegrowns for help. Carleton and Goslin participated in last year’s training camp in Bradenton, Fla., as well as team practices throughout the season when they weren’t in various national team camps.
“They are like my big brothers,” Bello said. “I’ve known them for a long time. The are there for me always.”
Bello said he would love first-team minutes this season, but understands that it’s more likely that his playing time will happen at Atlanta United 2, the team’s USL affiliate that will play at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. He also likely will have commitments to various national-team camps throughout the year.
“Working toward impressing the coaches, showing what I have and improving on and off the pitch,” he said. “Grow into a professional. I know I’m not there yet.
“We will see what rewards come my way.”