Reports across the Internet over the past few weeks have seen Atlanta United linked to a number of players: Santiago Arzamendia, Fernando Meza and Santiago Rodruiguez are among the names that have been floated around.
In a Wednesday afternoon conference call following the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, club vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra declined comment on specific players Atlanta were bringing in, but he did state that 3-4 players were incoming and should be announced within the next week.
“We feel like they’ll be ready to go for (Concacaf) Champions League,” Bocanegra said. “One of our goals was to bring these guys in and get them ready for Frank (de Boer) day one. We’re a tad bit behind schedule for various reasons with that, to be completely honest, but we will be getting them in within the next few days and they’ll hit the ground running...to get a full preseason under their belt.”
When pressed further on whether one of them could be a midfielder (as Atlanta have also been linked with Arzamendia’s teammate at Cerro Porteño, Mathias Villisanti), Bocanegra replied, “That could be the case, yeah.”
One player was announced on Thursday afternoon, as Anton Walkes rejoined Atlanta United. The soon-to-be 23-year-old was a member of Atlanta’s inaugural roster in 2017 on loan from Tottenham Hotspur before joining Portsmouth on loan after the season and signing for them permanently in 2018.
As far as current players are concerned, Bocanegra was asked about Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and the centerback’s rumored transfer to Club Tijuana in MLS, as well as his comments on photos appearing to show Gonzalez Pirez in a Xolos training kit. While conceding that the clubs have been in discussions, he declined to comment much further beyond that.
“We have been in talks, but there’s nothing’s finalized,” said Bocanegra. “To my knowledge, if he’s on the training field (with Tijuana), that’s news to me.”