Atlanta United: Georgia-raised 16-year-old notches first MLS goal


ATLANTA—In matters involving the athletic arena, what were you doing at age 16?

While you’re pondering that for a moment, Atlanta United teenager George Bello was busy scoring his first Major League Soccer goal on Saturday—a work of art that was more solo act than team-driven.

Yes, Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron were on the pitch at the time of Bello’s moment in the sun; but the kid performed the lion’s share of duties during the play—controlling a hard, bouncing pass in the scoring area, speed-dribbling by the defenders and then blasting his attempt past the New England Revolution goalkeeper, occupying the left side of the net.

Here’s another twist of fate: Technically, Bello’s score came at the 17th minute, but this match was barely into the 16th-plus minute when Bello’s star turn occurred.

So, on this charitable day, it only makes sense to reward the kid who’s 16 years, 8 months and 14 days old … with a goal that took place sometime during Minute #16.

Bello’s goal prompted a roar of thunderous applause from United fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium; but within this group, it might have also merited hushed questions of, Who’s George Bello?

The Nigerian-born Bello moved to Douglasville, Ga. at an early age. He would eventually sign with the ATL UTD franchise, partaking with Atlanta United 2 for a while, before getting the 2018 call-up to the big club.

As such, Saturday marked only Bello’s third appearance with United.

Not a bad way to spend the day.

© 2018 WXIA

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