ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The first game of Atlanta United FC in the 2022 Major League Soccer season in front of its fans at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is one for the ages on February 27. Playing in front of its fans, United FC beat the visiting Sporting Kansas City 3-1.
The three goals were provided by Luiz Araújo, Dom Dwyer, and Caleb Wiley.
Among the three goals, the most special one was provided by Wiley, a 17-year-old Homegrown player of United FC.
Wiley scored the toe-touch goal in the 88th minute.
Wiley is very happy with his goal.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Wiley said.
“I don’t score that many goals that often, so when I do I’m so speechless,” Wiley added.
Earlier, Wiley was invited to the United States Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team for a training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida last Jan. 24-Feb. 2.
Sources said the U-20 team is continuing its preparation for this summer’s 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship, which will serve as a qualification to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
According to reports, is Wiley’s second call up to the U.S. U-20s.
The teenager joined the group for a training camp and the Revelations Cup in Celaya, Mexico Nov. 7-17, 2021, where he made three appearances with two starts against Brazil’s U-18s, Colombia’s U-19s, and Mexico’s U-20s. Wiley has also made three appearances with the U.S. U-17s, earning his debut in a friendly against Spain’s U-16s on Feb. 19, 2020.
The United FC announced that they have signed Wiley, to a Homegrown contract through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026.
Wiley has been with the Atlanta United Academy since its inaugural season and has played significant minutes with Atlanta United 2 the past two years.
The signing of Wiley adds spunk and energy to the team that is eyeing for the Major League Soccer crown this year.
Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said are excited about the signing of Wily and what he can provide to the team in the future.
“We are excited to sign Caleb as a professional and continue his development with Atlanta United,” Bocanegra said.
“He’s still young but has gotten invaluable minutes through 33 games with ATL UTD 2 which has shown us that he’s ready for the next challenge in his career,” Bocanegra added.
Wiley joined the Atlanta United Academy at the age of 11 as a member of the club’s inaugural U-12 team in 2016. He progressed through the Academy and made his professional debut on July 11, 2020, with ATL UTD 2, becoming the youngest player in club history to appear in a professional game at 15 years and 206 days. Wiley went on to play 11 games in 2020, all starts and finished with 910 minutes played. He led ATL UTD 2 with 25 interceptions that season.
In 2021, Wiley established himself as one of the main pillars along the ATL UTD 2 backline, starting all 22 matches that he played in the USL Championship. He finished with 1,877 total minutes played, giving him 2,787 combined minutes, the most of any Atlanta United Academy player in USL. He was named to the USL Championship Team of the Week on two occasions. He recorded his first career assist on June 6, 2021, in a 1-0 win against Louisville City FC. He added another assist later in the season in a 6-2 win vs. Indy Eleven.
Wiley has also gained international experience over the past couple of seasons. In early 2020, the defender was called into the USMNT U-17s for three friendly matches. At the end of last year, Wiley was called up to the USMNT U-20s for the Revelations Cup in Mexico. He played in all three matches, earning two starts.