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The Daily Dirt, December 22: Brick by Brick

Atlanta United is putting together a strong Opening Day roster

Soccer: Gold Cup-USA at Haiti Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Buried a bit in the Greg Garza news last night was a nugget from Ives Galarcep that Atlanta United is searching for a “top level” center back. With that player joining the club, in addition to the acquisitions already made, Atlanta could be fielding a very impressive Opening Day lineup on March 5 against the Red Bulls.

GK: Guzan
D: Garza, Parkhurst, “top level” CB, Loyd or Bloom
DM: McCann, Larentowicz or Kratz
M: Peterson, Almirón, Villalba
F: Jones

If the third Designated Player signing happens, I would expect it to be a left winger or another attacking central midfielder. There’s always an outside chance they use that for the center back, but Tata Martino said that the plan was for his DP’s to be from the midfield to the attack.

Today, the club could add to its depth in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. There are options at all of the positions Atlanta United might be looking at, with outside back being the deepest spot in the draft. Players like Chris Klute, Chris Korb, Josh Williams, and Steve Neumann could be a fit here to improve the team’s bench and push for starting roles.


Domestic

Gregg Berhalter looks to improve this season in Columbus after a disappointing campaign (MLS)

Will Johnson reportedly heading to Orlando (The Mane Land)

Wilmer Cabrera is dramatically remaking the Houston roster (Dynamo Theory)

San Jose signs Nick Lima to a Homegrown Player contract (Center Line Soccer)

A look at the new City of Angels FC in the NPSL (Guardian)

More on the NPSL’s expansion with their chairman (Scratching the Pitch)

International

Explaining the demise of Swansea City (Wales Online)

The world’s two highest paid players are in China (SB Nation)

Local