As Atlanta United FC nears its 2017 inaugural season, we will be taking an in-depth look at each player on the roster, including their history, highlights, and future expectations with the team.
Atlanta United FC is set to start their MLS season in March 2017 at Georgia Tech’s historic Bobby Dodd Stadium. In the meantime, the club has been building their roster, which is currently composed of 18 players after the recent 2016 MLS Expansion Draft.
On December 11th, Atlanta United FC acquired 20-year-old English midfielder, Harrison Heath. Atlanta United acquired him in exchange for the club’s natural Fourth Round selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Harrison is the son of Adrian Heath, who is the head coach of Minnesota United FC. The 5’11”, 160 pound midfielder was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England and holds a U.S. green card, which qualifies him as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.
Harrison Heath: Career
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Heath signed with Orlando City SC at just 18-years-old during the Club’s 2014 United Soccer League season and has spent the last three season in their system. He made five starts in six appearances for the Lions in their first two seasons in the league, and also started 13 games for Orlando City B in 2016 and scored one goal.
Heath has endured a recent rough patch in his MLS career, battling knee injuries both in 2015 and 2016. “It’s been different, to say the least, with everything that’s gone on personally and then with the club and everything like that,” said Heath after Orlando City’s season came to an end. “It’s been a strange year, lot of ups and downs for me personally. I think the most important thing now is to learn from this year and try to put it right for next year.”
But if there’s one thing this young player brings to United FC, it’s seemingly unlimited potential, especially in his regular form.
"When fully healthy, Heath regularly was one of the most accurate passers in the club with a high ceiling for growth. Many believe the trade was a steal for Atlanta, whose director of soccer operations, former Orlando City general manager Paul McDonough, was well aware of Heath’s potential."
Welcome to Atlanta, Harrison!