Thanks to all of you for following along during our Atlanta United Big Board series. We hope that it gives a better picture about how the roster might be constructed and some of the players that might be a fit. We did get some additional suggestions from you for the Big Board, here they are:
Will Packwood, center back: Packwood has been without a club since last summer when he was let go by Birmingham City and New England did not sign him after a two week trial. He is only 23 years old and had a call-up to the USMNT in March 2014 but did not play. He has featured for US youth national teams. Injuries derailed his career at Birmingham and could be the source of his trouble finding a club.
Gale Agbossoumonde, center back: He has bounced around since he turned pro in 2009. After a promising run with Toronto FC, he ended up in the NASL. He has been consistently playing with Ft. Lauderdale this season, even scoring a goal in their last match. He is only 24 years old and might be finally putting everything together. Could be a good option to consider.
Vincent Kompany, center back: Unless Pep just wants to clear house, there’s no chance on this one. He’s 30, he’s under contract through the 2018/19 season, and he would be absurdly expensive.
Mark Bloom, outside back: The Marietta native and former Silverback has had some injury issues that have caused him to miss time with Toronto FC. He came back into the lineup for them in their last match, we will have to see what the rest of the season brings. He is versatile and can play either left or right back. According to Transfermarkt, his contract is up at the end of this season.
O’Brian Woodbine, outside back: The right back is in Charleston, so he should be on Atlanta’s radar. He is a 28 year old veteran of the Jamaican national team and has played professionally in his home country, Finland, Canada, and the US. Woodbine spent half of a season with the New England Revolution in 2014. He is strong on crosses, has good speed, and can play anywhere on the backline.
Harry Shipp, central midfielder: Even though he often gets shifted out wide, Shipp would be best served as a #10. He was traded from his hometown Chicago in the offseason and has not adjusted all that well in Montreal. Maybe he would be expendable in the offseason? I would love to see him regain his form. He is the type of player we need more of in MLS and in the US. Technical, creative, likes to try things, Shipp is just a fun player to watch.
Gary Smith, manager: The former Silverbacks and MLS Cup winner has been out of action since the NASL Silverbacks folded after last season. His name has not popped up with any MLS openings since the end of last season. I would not be surprised to see him first in line with any USL or NASL clubs that make a change this season.
Eric Wynalda, manager: This one is the lightning rod. From my time being around the Silverbacks when Wynalda was there, I can say that he is one of the smartest soccer guys I have met and has one of the best eyes for talent in this country. He is also comfortable on the West Coast in a high paying job with Fox. I would love to see a MLS team hire Wynalda, but he would need to be with a team where he has total control over the roster. Honestly, I think Wynalda would be best suited as a technical director somewhere where his contacts and scouting talents would be best served.
Charleston hosts Rangers tonight in an international friendly, check out a diary from Rangers of their trip (Daily Record)
Former US international Oguchi Onyewu could be joining Rangers after a successful trial in South Carolina (Express)
Seattle beat West Ham 3-0 last night in a friendly, Jordan Morris has two goals (Sounder at Heart)
“We’ve got some money and we’re looking to spend it,” says Ben Olsen about DC United’s transfer window possibilities (Washington Post)
Are the Red Bulls chasing Diego Forlan? (Once a Metro)
Update on the various expansion rumors in American professional soccer (Midfield Press)
Tata Martino steps down as manager of the Argentina national team (ESPNFC)
A look ahead at this afternoon’s Wales vs. Portugal Euro 2016 semifinal (Daily Mail)
Lionel Messi found guilty of tax fraud, fined $2.3M, but will not serve prison time (CNN)
Braves’ Julio Teheran named to the National League All-Star Team (Talking Chop)
What will Dwight Howard bring to the Hawks? (Peachtree Hoops)