Ezequiel Barco was called by the Argentine FA to join his country’s U-23 side during the current FIFA international break, but the attacking midfielder will stay in Atlanta to rehab a muscle injury that held him out of the weekend’s game against the Philadelphia Union.
Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer indicated to media prior to the match that the injury wasn’t serious, but did not go into detail — only describing it as “a muscle injury.” De Boer said Barco reported it to the team after Atlanta United won the U.S. Open Cup final against Minnesota United last week.
Despite stellar play on the field in 2019, Barco’s season has been disjointed by national team duties and injuries. He was one of the best players at this summer’s U-20 FIFA World Cup, a tournament known for unearthing some of the future’s brightest talent. While his profile rose during the tournament, it caused him to miss seven league matches.
In his return, Barco was injured in his first game back — a 2-0 win on the road against the Columbus Crew. The resulting knee injury kept him out for another seven league matches, and Barco missed 14 consecutive games in the MLS calendar in total. His substitute appearance in a 4-3 loss to LAFC on July 26 was his first appearance in an MLS match since a 3-0 win vs. Sporting KC on May 5.