UPDATE: An Atlanta United spokesperson confirmed Kratz will join Atlanta pending a binding trade agreement with Philadelphia that cannot be ratified until the trade window opens on December 11.
Atlanta United appear to have one more player on their roster than anyone thought. The news began circulating round the interweb today that Philadelphia Union midfielder Kevin Kratz, who was brought in as a free agent on September, actually belongs to Atlanta and was on loan to Philadelphia for the season.
Kevin Kratz will return to Atlanta United, from which he was on loan. That's new— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) November 2, 2016
Kratz, 29, is a veteran of the German leagues. He began his career in the Bayer Leverkusen youth system and has spent time with the club’s reserve team, Eintracht Braunschweig, and most recently SV Sandhausen.
He is a midfielder that can play multiple positions but is usually deployed as a holding midfielder.
Here he is scoring a goal against Borussia Dortmund in 2013:
It’s unknown why MLS and both clubs would keep this arrangement a secret. Kratz did not appear for the Union at all after joining them in September.
It is also not known how long Kratz is signed to MLS for and if he’s guaranteed a spot on Atlanta United’s roster in 2017. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Kratz would be the ninth player on the Atlanta United roster and occupy an international player spot.