Atlanta United may be interested in signing U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan, according to a speculative tweet by ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman on Friday.
Guzan currently plays for Middlesbrough in the English Premier League, but has made just four starts in all competitions this season, having fallen behind Victor Valdez. Guzan, 32, previously played for Aston Villa after transferring from now-defunct Chivas in MLS. He has made 53 appearances for the U.S. men’s national team, and should still be in the mix for new manager Bruce Arena if he can secure consistent playing time.
An Atlanta United spokesman declined to comment on any of the reports regarding Guzan.
Atlanta United has one goalkeeper, Alexander Tambakis, and reportedly has agreed to a trade with Chicago for Atlanta native Sean Johnson. However, another report says that Atlanta United will trade Johnson to NYCFC for undisclosed assets.
Signing Guzan would be another bold move by Atlanta United, which will begin play in MLS in 2017. The club has already signed former Premier League striker Kenwyne Jones, as well as two young, up-and-coming Designated Players in Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron, and hired former Barcelona and Argentina manager Gerardo Martino to work with the players. It has also signed three players who have made numerous appearances for the U.S. youth national teams: Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin and Brandon Vazquez.
Atlanta United would have preference to sign Guzan over the remaining MLS teams because it has the top choice in Allocation Ranking List, which means it gets first rights to any U.S. men’s national team players who play in another league and but are coming to MLS.
Guzan wouldn’t become the team’s third and final Designated Player. Instead, he would reportedly be signed using an MLS mechanism calledTargeted Allocation Money , which are funds used to sign players that are considered just below the threshold of the high-dollar Designated Players.
Atlanta United has announced the signing of 10 players, not included reported trades for Johnson, Kevin Kratz and Michael Parkhurst. Those trades can be finalized and announced after the league approves them when the trade window opens Sunday.