After a bevy of outgoing moves that has left Atlanta United’s roster relatively thin as training camp began this week, head coach Gonzalo Pineda revealed to media Friday that help is on the way.
Pineda revealed that the club is close with as many as three players, all of whom will presumably be important players for the squad and starting eleven. The club has gotten rid of some players who have been key starters for the Five Stripes in the past, most notably center back Alan Franco, midfielder Marcelino Moreno, and (soon) forward Josef Martinez.
Pineda didn’t disclose any information on the players in question, but one would presume that the incoming players would play roughly similar roles that those three notable departures. Atlanta United is in desperate need of a starting striker (which could be a Designated Player with Josef on the way out). And it’s a similar situation at the back, particularly since Miles Robinson is almost certainly not going to be ready to start by the time the season kicks off.
“There are going to be probably three players coming,” Pineda said in a (large) media scrum Friday. “That’s what we hope. Hopefully soon.”
How soon is soon? It’s likely that we see movement in the next couple weeks. In a perfect world, all three player would be in the squad by the time the team departs for its trip to Mexico City at the end of January. However, it’s a fool’s errand to try to predict these things with any specificity due to the fickle nature of negotiations.
But all in all, it’s positive news that the team has already identified a specific number of players and are confident enough to say so publicly. It probably means the deals are close to the finish line. While we obviously need to see which players are acquired before making an assessment of the team’s moves, it’s nice to see that an orderly plan to change out some portion of the squad is well underway.