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Yamil Asad disappointed to not be in Atlanta United’s offseason plans

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If it were up to him, he’d still be here

MLS: Toronto FC at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent interview with Univision Deportes, Yamil Asad looked back on his season with Atlanta United and talked about what it means to him to likely not to be returning for another year.

Right now he is in training with his home club Vélez Sarsfield, and apparently doesn’t know if he will be playing with them to close out the season, or will end up somewhere else. Apparently that won’t be Atlanta, despite what he personally wanted to do:

Es una lástima porque el deseo y la intención mía era quedarme en Atlanta, pero son decisiones que sobrepasan a uno.

(It's a shame because my desire and intention were to stay in Atlanta , but some decisions are beyond your control.)

Twitter users among you may have noticed he was in town over the Christmas break, but it turns out that he was here to collect his belongings and close out some personal business, although at the same time he was hoping to be able to stay. Things didn’t turn out the way he hoped.

But that’s not for lack of trying. He goes on to explain that United contacted his agent to renegotiate the purchase option in his contract, something that many of us had speculated about. He doesn’t give any more details, but presumably the option price was too high and no new agreement with Vélez was forthcoming.

Despite his personal disappointment, Asad recognizes that this was at least in part an economic decision which goes beyond his personal feelings, and those of the fans too, by whom he feels “valued and loved”.

Univision asked him how it makes him feel that United are willing to offer an “astronomical figure” for Ezequiel Barco, but won’t put out any extra effort to keep him. That ignores the economic factors Asad had already acknowledged, of course. Yamil had this response:

… Yo creo que la dirigencia busca lo mejor para el club y ellos piensan que hoy lo mejor es buscar una alternativa, llámese Barco o como sea, y por más que uno esté o no de acuerdo, eso se respeta.

(I believe that the management looks for the best for the club and they think that the best thing to do today is to find an alternative, say Barco or someone like him, and even if you agree or disagree, you have to respect that.)

His disappointment at not staying has done nothing to offset the positives he got from his year in Georgia. Scoring the first goal in team history was “maravilloso” (wonderful), and he wishes the best for Atlanta United because “it has already won a special place in my heart”. He also thanked Tata Martino (whom he praised as a complete coach) for having confidence in him and giving him the opportunity to play.

With all of this, Asad still hopes to come back to MLS some day, whether with Atlanta or somewhere else. In the meantime, though, it’s likely that Vélez need him. Although at mid-season they sit in 19th place (out of 28), they are only one place and 0.09 points per game out of relegation, which is calculated on a four-year average.

Finally, he gives a shout-out to the City of Atlanta itself, which “has many points in its favor”, but for him “the best thing about Atlanta is its people.”