Atlanta United legend Rocco Rios Novo is back at the club after the team signed him to a loan deal that will run through the end of the calendar year. The deal was announced by the team Wednesday afternoon.
Rios Novo has yet to feature for his parent club Lanus, and his only top-flight game time remains the two matches he played under Gabriel Heinze’s Atlanta United in last season’s CONCACAF Champions League. Rios Novo came on in the 45th minute after a Brad Guzan red card in the away leg against LD Alajuelense, then started the return leg during Guzan’s suspension. That season, Rios Novo started 20 games for Atlanta United 2.
Stylistically, Rios Novo’s best attribute is his distribution as well as his reflexes and shot-stopping. There’s also the added benefit of his familiarity with much of the squad aand crucially Gonzalo Pineda, with whom he trained after Pineda took over the team last year. However, Rios Novo is very inexperienced at just 19 years of age, and is very small in stature for a goalkeeper — listed at just 5 feet and 10 inches.
Rios Novo will not occupy an international slot by virtue of the fact that he was born in the United States in Los Angeles, Calif.