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Philadelphia Union lose talented youth prospect to Atlanta United

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Forward Chad Letts, a Jamaica U17 youth international, has returned home to join Atlanta United Academy

Matt Ralph

Jamaica U17 youth international Chad Letts has returned home to Atlanta to join Atlanta United Academy.

Letts was announced as a member of Atlanta United’s U19 team earlier this week. He previously played for Gwinnett Soccer Association before joining the Philadelphia Union Academy ahead of the 2015-16 Development Academy season.

While it’s understandable that Letts would want to play for his hometown team, it’s a big loss for the Union.

Letts was one of the best attacking players in the Union’s youth system last year, scoring 18 goals in all competitions. His seven goals in the Union’s Generation adidas Cup run were a team best and MLS Soccer listed him as one of the top five players in the U17 tournament.

Letts was one of several top youth prospects the Union were able to recruit out of the Atlanta region prior to Atlanta United joining MLS and creating its academy structure. That list includes Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Yosef Samuel and University of Virginia forward Jerren Nixon.