As fans await the end of the MLS transfer window, Atlanta United 2 announced the signing of attacking midfielder Matías Gallardo via free transfer from River Plate for the remainder of the 2023 season and the loan of defender Chris Gloster MLS. The club has a team option for 2024 on Gallardo.
Gallardo, 19, joined River Plate’s Academy in 2014 when his father, Marcelo Gallardo, was named manager of the First Team. Before his transfer, he faced steep competition against a bevy of #10 options for River Plate II and transferred to Atlanta United 2. Gallardo is far from the first River Plate connection with Atlanta United. Ezequiel Barco and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez currently play for the first team. With Gallardo’s legendary father on sabbatical after a long tenure at River, there is plenty of reason to speculate about whether Marcello Gallardo would be interested in leading Atlanta United if the position became available.
Gloster, 22, is an intriguing option for Atlanta. He is a once highly-touted youth prospect at left-back for New York City FC, making 15 appearances across all competitions in the 2021 and 2022 seasons and represented the U.S. at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship, and the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup with both teams reaching the quarterfinals. Gloster is out of contract with NYCFC and is currently unavailable to be signed as a free agent within the MLS structure. According to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, players like Gloster will be made available in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft. This signing likely gives Atlanta United a chance to trial him with the 2s ahead of the Re-Entry process as competition in 2024 at left-back for the first team, and allow Wiley to move back to the wing.
Overall, these are solid additions to a 2s team below the playoff line. The 2s will return to action against Columbus Crew 2 on July 28th. That will be a closed-door match only available on Apple+.