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The Daily Dirt, January 29: Torino plays without Josef Martinez this morning

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Is he on his way to Atlanta?

AS Roma v Torino FC - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Josef Martinez was not part of Torino’s squad today as they drew 1-1 with Atalanta in Serie A. According to reports, he has either traveled or is in route to the U.S. ahead of a deal with Atlanta United. As I said yesterday, the deal is still being reported as a loan with an obligation to buy in the summer.

Martinez has been the source of many transfer rumors this month. He has been linked in recent weeks to Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Trabzonspor, and Hamburg. It appears that unless something falls apart late in the deal, Martinez will be suiting up for the Red and Black in 2017.

I’ve had quite a few questions on Twitter about my thoughts on the deal and if it is a good one for Atlanta. As much as I liked the idea of Oscar Romero joining this team, Martinez would be an even better fit. If he plays on the left, it would allow Miguel Almirón and Yamil Asad to play centrally. They will be able to be more impactful playing in their natural position. Martinez also gives the opportunity to play two forwards up top, he is used to playing off of a target forward like Kenwyne Jones.

As we learned with Romero, nothing is a done deal until it is announced. This one is looking good though...


Domestic

What to watch for this afternoon as the USMNT hosts Serbia (Stars and Stripes FC)

Joining Orlando City from the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, PC expects to contribute in 2017 (The Mane Land)

Meet Handwalla Bwana, Seattle Sounders’ Homegrown Player prospect (Seattle Times)

CONCACAF Champions League changes mean this year’s qualifiers will not play until 2018 (Denver Post)

Proposed site for Detroit’s MLS stadium falls through (Detroit Free Enterprise)

Work continues a new stadium for the Rio Grande Valley Toros, Houston Dynamo’s USL affiliate:

Things are not so ideal for the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the moment:

International

Huge transfer fees rumored for Antoine Griezmann, Arsenal and Manchester United battling for him (ESPN)

Goalkeeper receives an unusual red card (Sunday Post)