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The Daily Dirt, August 4: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Busy day for Atlanta soccer yesterday

Nigerian Olympic Team boarding a flight in Atlanta for Manaus
@timiebikagboro

Hectic day in the Atlanta soccer world yesterday with three very different stories grabbing our attention...

The saga of the Nigerian Olympic team appears to be headed towards a happy resolution, for now at least. After days of drama concerning flight arrangements for Brazil, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Delta Air Lines stepped up to get the team on their way. They boarded a plane earlier this morning headed for Manaus to play Japan tonight. Kickoff is at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, they will have a few hours on the ground after the flight.

Belgium shocked the soccer world yesterday afternoon by appointing Roberto Martinez as their new national team manager. Martinez was at one point considered the favorite for the Hull City job, and was also mentioned as a candidate here in Atlanta. Now, we’ll never know what happened with that candidacy. He could have interviewed, he could have just been on a short list, he could have been primed to take the job. None of that matters now though, as Martinez will not be the first Atlanta United manager.

The U.S. Women’s National Team, featuring two Georgia natives in their starting lineup, kicked off their Olympic campaign last night with a solid 2-0 win over New Zealand. Carli Lloyd’s header in the first half, followed by Alex Morgan’s goal early in the second half provided the winning margin. They will next be in action on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. when they take on France. It was also announced that the USWNT will be visiting Atlanta after the Olympics to take on the Netherlands in a friendly at the Georgia Dome on September 18.

The MLS incoming transfer window closed last night with a flurry of deals around the league. Nothing else for Atlanta United though at this time. They can still sign players who are out of contract any time, but will have to wait until the January transfer window to sign players who are with other clubs.


Domestic

Philadelphia make the move of the day, finalizing the acquisition of USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (Brotherly Game)

But they weren’t done, getting this one in before the deadline and announced this morning:

San Jose trades Matias Perez Garcia to Orlando for Darwin Ceren (The Mane Land)

Chicago Fire add Armenian striker David Arshakyan, Luis Solignac from the Rapids, and a boatload of assorted allocation money from Philadelphia.

Colorado acquires Sebastian Le Toux from Philadelphia in exchange for allocation money (Burgundy Wave)

Houston get younger by adding Costa Rican defender Keyner Brown and Honduran midfielder Jose Escalante (Dynamo Theory)

Toronto defeated RSL 1-0 on a goal from new signing Tosaint Ricketts (Waking the Red)

New York Red Bulls start their CONCACAF Champions League run with a 3-0 win over Antigua GFC of Guatemala (Once a Metro)

Portland snatches a 2-1 win late on a Diego Valeri goal to defeat CD Dragon of El Salvador in their CONCACAF opener (Stumptown Footy)

Portland owner Merritt Paulson describes the importance of the CONCACAF Champions League and US Open Cup to the Timbers (Portland Timbers)

Money starting to fall into place for the LAFC stadium (Los Angeles Daily News)


International

Paul Pogba might finally be headed to Manchester United... soon (ESPN FC)

Everton chasing Julian Draxler? (Independent)

Swansea complete the signing of Fernando Llorente (International Business Times)

Great free kick by Camille Abily of France in their 4-0 win over Colombia in the Olympics:


Local

Georgia Tech opens training camp today (From the Rumble Seat)

Could the Hawks miss the playoffs this year? (Peachtree Hoops)

Braves win 8-4 over Pittsburgh (Talking Chop)

Who has improved their standing with the Falcons after one week of training camp? (The Falcoholic)