Dirty South Soccer understands that Atlanta United is set to complete the signing of 19-year-old Venezuelan winger Darwin Matheus from Zamora FC, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Matheus joins the Five Stripes on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract with Zamora, though Atlanta could pay a meager compensation fee. The teenager has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in the Venezuelan Primera Division over the past three seasons.
Matheus, a two-footed attacker who can play on either wing, has been in fine form in recent seasons, scoring nine goals in 41 league games across the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined, while also picking up minutes in the Copa Sudamericana.
According to one source, Matheus also generated interest from Orlando City, though it’s thought the player was always keen on the move to Atlanta. The transfer is expected to be completed next week.
Matheus is represented by Sebastian Cano of SecaSports, who also represents Josef Martinez, as well as Aberdeen and Venezuela international right-back, Ronald Hernandez, who has also been linked with the Atlanta United recently.
Should Atlanta United fans be excited?
“As we’ve already seen this window, MLS clubs are placing trust in this current Venezuela U20 generation, and so they should be,” Jordan Florit of FUTVE English and author of ‘Red Wine and Arepas’ told DSS. “New York Red Bulls have handed an international spot to a kid who doesn’t turn 18 until the end of this month [Wikelman Carmona] and who hadn’t even made his professional debut in Venezuela, and in Belgium Club Brugge have given a four-and-a-half-year contract to Daniel Perez.”
When asked how excited Five Stripes supporters should get about the signing, Florit continued: “Atlanta United fans should be excited because Matheus comes with a bigger reputation than both, in all honesty.
“Zamora FC exported more players overseas than any other Venezuelan team in the 2010s and they were the most successful Venezuelan team in that time period, too, so he is coming from proven stock. Even if he doesn’t play much for Atlanta this season, fans should expect to see him at the U20 South American Championships.”