Yes, Atlanta United may have an embarrassment of riches at midfield. The club has announced the signing of Chilean midfielder Carlos Carmona using Targeted Allocation Money.
BREAKING: #ATLUTD sign Chilean International Carlos Carmona— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 6, 2017
: https://t.co/bEfzev1cMC pic.twitter.com/90QitjbEiv
Carmona, 29, most recently played for Italian side Atalanta (let the jokes begin). He represented the Nerazzurri for six and a half seasons, making 155 appearances for the club. Last month, Carmona agreed to terminate his contract, citing a lack of playing time under new coach Gian Gasperini. The Chilean has only made two appearances in the 2016-17 season.
“Having represented Chile at each of the last two FIFA World Cups, in addition to his extensive experience in Serie A, Carlos brings veteran leadership and a versatile skillset to our club,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “He fits in naturally with our style of play and also addresses an area of need. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the club.”
Carmona began his professional career in his hometown of Coquimbo at the age of 17, earning 92 caps in three seasons. After a short stint with O’Higgins, the midfielder accepted an offer to leave Chile and play in Italy for Reggina. He added another 67 appearances there before heading to Atalanta.
Carmona received his first call-up to the Chilean national team in 2008. He started in three matches at the 2010 World Cup, two at the 2011 Copa America and made one appearance at the 2014 World Cup. Carmona was named to the 2015 Copa America squad, but had to withdraw due to injury. His most recent call-up came last month during the 2017 China Cup.
Although he played as a left winger early in his career, Carmona settled in as a holding midfielder while at Atalanta. In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Doug Roberson, Tata Martino said he prefers playing a 4-3-3 formation, but could also occasionally rely on a 4-2-3-1. It will be interesting to see where Carmona fits in either formation, whether paired with Chris McCann in a 4-2-3-1 or used as a central mid in a 4-3-3. Regardless, Carmona’s wealth of experience on some of the biggest stages in the world will surely benefit a midfield and attack made up of mostly younger players.
Welcome to Atlanta, Carlos.