Atlanta United began its 2020 preseason Monday morning with an hour long training session.
The Five Stripes will play its first competitive match in about 5 weeks against Motagua from Honduras in the CONCACAF Champions League. Despite the off-season lasting just over two months, there have been numerous announcements throughout that time.
The first one involves many key players leaving the team. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Darlington Nagbe, Brandon Vazquez, Dion Pereira, Justin Meram and many others have left the club. Meanwhile, the team have announced one only new players, defender Fernando Meza, from Xolos of Tijuana.
United has been rumored to sign new players by several outlets in South America but at the moment, nothing has been made oficial.
Monday morning, the only two players missing from training were Andrew Carleton and Ezequiel Barco. According to social media, Barco is still Argentina but he is scheduled to join the rest of his teammates for training Tuesday. Meanwhile for Carleton, Doug Roberson from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carleton will be sent on loan.
Carleton, United’s first homegrown signing, began his professional soccer career with much anticipation but has not lived up to it. Several off-field incidents have led Carleton to see less minutes on the pitch during his first three years with the first team and has mainly appeared for Atlanta United 2.
When asked, Manager Frank De Boer said that the decision to seek a loan for Carleton is to simply put him in a new environment where he could thrive.
Here are some of the tidbits after speaking with Manager Frank De Boer, Josef Martinez and Brad Guzan:
- Brad Guzan mentioned that the current negotiations towards a new CBA is going well but did not provide many details after that. The current CBA is set to expire at the month and if a new deal is not reached by Feb. 28, the beginning of the new MLS season could be delayed.
- Martinez said that he feels healthy at the moment but he’s not exactly fully healthy. He said he played the last match of last season with an injury in his thigh but he expects to be ready by the first competitive match.
- Guzan that he wishes the best to goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde, who recently accepted a job as the new goalkeepers coach for the United States National Men’s Team. He doesn’t know who the new coach will be for United but he’s had conversations with some coaches.
- Guzan also mentioned that the team’s goal during the preseason is just to get everyone in sync and become more cohesive on the field.