Atlanta United have signed former Pitt defender Bryce Washington to a Homegrown deal, the club announced Friday. Washington signed a two-year contract with club options through 2025.
Washington, 22, played his last two seasons of collegiate soccer at Pitt, where he helped lead his team to the No. 2 overall national seed at the NCAA Tournament. He spent his first two years playing for Rutgers University.
Washington was a key piece in the middle of Pitt’s back line the past two years as the program rose to national prominence.
An athletic, physical and steady presence in the back, Washington showed that he could defend well in one-v-one situations and is a threat in the box on set pieces. In his first season at Pitt, in 2019, he played in 18 games, starting 13 — as he ascended into the starting role by the end of the season. This year he followed that up by starting every match in leading the Panthers to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA College Cup.
Even after the pandemic hit, Washington went back to his native Georgia, and told Pittsburgh Soccer Now that we was determined to stay on top of his game in preparation for his senior year at Pitt and in pursing his goal to become a professional.
Washington, a former Atlanta United Academy player, worked out with his brother, who developed a professional soccer training program in Georgia, while Bailey was also finding time to get in his technical and fitness work on whatever field he could get on in Maryland.
“The warehouse my brother used for training, was mostly shut down, so I was able to use that space,” Washington said. “The team, we stayed connected. A lot of zoom calls. It was important that we did this and the coaching staff stayed in close contact.”
Welcome home, Bryce! 🍑#ATLUTD signs Bryce Washington to a Homegrown contract 🔴⚫
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) June 4, 2021
“Bryce was one of the top NCAA players in the country last year and we’re really excited to welcome him back to the club,” VP & technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “Every player has a different development process and Bryce complemented his progression by having the opportunity to play regularly for four years at a top level collegiately. He’s an athletic center back who will continue to develop with more playing time.”
Washington was an inaugural member of Atlanta United’s U-18 side in 2016-17.