Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra spoke to media members on Tuesday after the club announced on Monday that the former USMNT defender signed a contract extension with the club. During the press conference, Bocanegra touched on a handful of topics including the circumstances around his extension and offseason transfers.
Bocanegra has been with the club since March 2015, and his previous contract was set to expire early in 2022.
“I love Atlanta United, and when I first took the job here it was somewhere I looked at the overall organization, the structure, Arthur’s family of businesses ... and the people that worked with him,” Bocanegra said. “It was somewhere where I thought it would be a great fit, and that’s never changed. You go through ups and downs in sports ... but we never lost belief here. [I] never wanted to go anywhere else, really enjoy it here, and we're trying to build something special.”
Before he signed the extension, questions were swirling in the Atlanta United sphere about his future with the club and how that limbo would impact Atlanta United’s transfer dealings. Now that Bocanegra signed an extension, which he revealed is a four-year extension, Atlanta United can move forward with more certainty regarding transfers in and out of the club. Bocanegra also stated that his responsibilities in his role haven’t changed after signing the extension.
Bocanegra understandably kept his cards close to his chest regarding Atlanta United’s plans for the upcoming offseason, but gave some insight into what Atlanta United fans can expect heading into the 2022 season.
Firstly, Bocanegra revealed that the club will be aiming to “add a veteran or two” to the squad, which is probably a good idea considering how young this squad is. According to Fbref.com , Atlanta United’s average squad age is 25 years old, so getting some veterans in the squad will be beneficial from both a on-the-field perspective and a locker room perspective.
But Bocanegra declined to comment on the potential singing of Thiago Alamada, the young Argentine who will reportedly sign with Atlanta United according to Cesar Luis Merlo.
“Any player we’re linked with, as you guys know and you guys have also seen in the past that we’re never going to announce anything or confirm anything unless we have everything complete and done,” Bocanegra said.
Bocanegra also revealed that the club expects Marcelino Moreno and Santiago Sosa to be available for Atlanta United’s first round playoff game at Yankee Stadium against NYCFC. In terms of long-term goals, it appears that Bocanegra and the club have their eyes set on some lofty aspirations.
“We’re trying to be a global brand,” Bocanegra said. “We’re trying to be a big club and establish ourselves after these five years now, in these next 5-10 years as being the dominant team on the continent. We’re going to come up short sometimes but, you know, we’re swinging for the fences and we’re trying our darndest to get there.”