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The Daily Dirt, December 18: Last weekend to shop before Christmas

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Who could be on Atlanta United’s wish list?

One week away from Christmas, what will Atlanta United be asking for from Santa? They do still have some holes in the lineup to fill, and need to shore up some depth in other spots. With 18 players on the roster right now, they have a maximum of ten spots to fill. There is also the possibility that some players currently on the roster go out on loan in 2017 to make room for others.

Remember, the club has a Designated Player spot open and a good bit of Targeted Allocation Money to work with in order to bring in 2-3 more starters if they so choose.

So, what’s left on the wish list?

  • Impact Designated Player signing: This spot was originally pencilled in for Andres Guardado, then Oscar Romero, but is now open. Based off the current roster, the front office would be looking for either a left winger or attacking central midfielder for this role. Miguel Almirón’s flexibility give them options.
  • Brad Guzan: After the variety of goalkeeper moves the club has made, it appears all but certain that the USMNT’s Brad Guzan will be in goal on opening day.
  • Outside back depth/starting left or right back: With Mikey Ambrose and Mark Bloom the only two true outside backs on the roster, more depth is desperately needed to round out the squad. Ambrose could be brought along more slowly if a starting outside back is found.
  • Center back depth: Same as the previous position, Michael Parkhurst and Zach Loyd are the only two center backs in the squad so far. This could be a younger option to develop for the future
  • Attacking central midfield options: Outside of Almirón, the other central midfielders in the squad are predominantly box-to-box or defensive options. Depending on where they go with the DP signing and where they feel strongest in deploying Almirón, they will need another option here.
  • Wing options: Again, this is influenced by the direction of the DP signing. Jacob Peterson’s potential signing makes a lot of sense due to the lack of depth on the wings.
  • Different forward option: With Kenwyne Jones and Brandon Vazquez playing a very similar role, another style of forward would be useful and give Tata Martino more options tactically. Jeffrey Otoo and Romario Williams could fill that role, but they could also be sent out on loan to further their development. A veteran presence could be useful here.

Domestic

Seattle is shopping for an Algerian winger (Sounder at Heart)

Charlotte Independence hit a snag on their stadium renovation plan (Charlotte Observer)

Swansea interested in Vancouver’s Carl Robinson? (Eighty Six Forever)

Oral history of the WUSA Founders’ Cup (Equalizer Soccer)

International

Highlights from Real Madrid’s win over Kashima Antlers in this morning’s World Club Cup final:

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Bob Bradley not backing down (FourFourTwo)

Zlatan has been Zlatan all along (SB Nation)

Local