Atlanta United have been relatively quiet in the summer transfer window, completing only one move so far. But that one move, signing Eric Remedi from Banfield in Argentina, has drastically improved Tata Martino’s squad.
Remedi made his full MLS debut in the 2-1 win away to the Montreal Impact on Saturday and drew rave reviews from all who saw the contributions he made. While not extremely flashy, the little things that Remedi brings to the lineup is stuff that’s been missing since the sudden departure of Carlos Carmona.
The season-long hunt for a Carmona replacement finally led the Five Stripes to the 23-year-old from the Buenos Aires-based club of Banfield. He proved in his first match that he’s more than capable of replicating what the veteran Chilean did in the team’s inaugural season.
Aside from a few errant passes and loose touches early on, Remedi was excellent in his first start. Breaking up plays next to midfield partner Jeff Larentowicz was his most noticeable addition. The duo combined for 14 total recoveries of possession, contributing seven a piece. However, Remedi added needed mobility in the center of the field that Larentowicz lacks. Several times throughout the night, he was able to win possession and start a counter-attack by fending off challenges and using his legs to move the play forward.
The Argentinian’s tenacity to win the ball is obviously a welcome addition, but he’s also a very calming influence in possession. He misplaced just six of the 44 passes he attempted throughout the match.
With Remedi already showing that he fits perfectly into the team, Martino now has a plethora of lineup options. It makes perfect sense to play two defensive-minded midfielders on the road as Larentowicz and Remedi proved against Montreal. But what about when the team returns home? Do you stick with the same set-up or do you revert to a more attack-minded look? That’s one dilemma for Martino to consider.
While options are clearly opening, the upshot of Remedi’s seamless integration is that Martino can now rest some players down the stretch of the season if needed. Players like Larentowicz, Julian Gressel, Tito Villalba, and Ezequiel Barco can now easily be rotated to keep everyone fresh for a playoff run. Only Martino can answer the lineup questions.
Having Remedi prove that he’s capable of stepping in and look natural with the team is a huge asset to have at this juncture in the season. This signing may have not grabbed many headlines like some of the others have, but it could prove to be as crucial as any the team has made since it began play in MLS.