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Atlanta United juggle roster with no updates on Ezequiel Barco, Thiago Almada

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Barco has been very loosely linked with several European clubs during his time with Atlanta and a big-money move to Europe was the plan when initially acquired as a rising teenager. The 22-year-old has 17g/17a in 81 MLS appearances.

Almada, meanwhile, has 24 goals and 11 assists in 98 professional appearances with Velez. He also has a sexual assault accusation case active in Argentina.

If Almada does indeed join as overwhelmingly expected this winter, it’ll be the third time in a row Atlanta set a new league-record transfer fee. Barco was acquired for $15 million ahead of the 2018 season (from Independiente), then Pity Martinez for a little more than $15 million in 2019 (from River Plate).

Atlanta still have some more business to do, though.

“We should be making two to three more signings potentially here before the season starts,” Bocanegra said.

The Five Stripes are looking for another goalkeeping addition behind Brad Guzan, as well as potentially another forward behind Josef Martinez. Bocanegra announced they reached an agreement over the permanent transfer of Venezuelan fullback Ronald Hernandez from Scotland’s Aberdeen. Hernandez was on loan last year.

Martinez, meanwhile, told The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas that he hopes to extend his contract soon, saying he wants a raise and extension to guarantee his future. Bocanegra downplayed contract concerns for his star striker.

“Josef has a long time left on his contract, we haven’t had any talks,” Bocanegra said. “They haven’t approached us, we haven’t approached them. We’re in a good place. … It’s not really an issue for us right now.”





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Official: FC Dallas acquire Paul Arriola in MLS-record trade from DC United

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The deal is worth $2 million in General Allocation Money up front, as well as a potential additional $300,000 GAM in performance-based incentives. DCU retain a 30% sell-on clause if Arriola is transferred outside of MLS.

Arriola, 26, made 89 MLS appearances with D.C. United as a Designated Player after being acquired from Liga MX’s Club Tijuana in 2017. He had 20 goals and 16 assists with the Black-and-Red while becoming a USMNT mainstay, making 42 appearances to date. Arriola is currently with the USMNT preparing for three Concacaf World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

“To have a player like Paul Arriola come to FC Dallas is really an amazing thing,” FCD president Dan Hunt said in a release. “Very few players have a resume like he does at the age of 26. He’s also an incredible locker room guy. You don’t get to captain the US national team if you’re not of the highest caliber and a great professional who works hard and has the admiration of his teammates and the coaching staff. We’re thrilled to welcome Paul to Dallas.”

“We want to thank Paul for his commitment and service to the club since he arrived in 2017,” D.C. United general manager Lucy Rushton said in a release. “He has been an integral player for our team and has been a model professional both on and off the field. We wish him luck in the next chapter of his career in Dallas.”





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DeAndre Yedlin is officially available

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DeAndre Yedlin is officially back on the market after Galatasaray announced that the Seattle native was no longer with the team. It had been previously reported that Yedlin was going to accept a buyout.

Yedlin ended up spending less than a year in Turkey, making 27 appearances and 24 starts in league play for one of the country’s biggest clubs. After helping nearly win the Turkish Süper Lig in his first season and falling just short of Champions League qualification, Galatasaray has slumped to 14th about midway through this season. Yedlin had started 15 of 23 games so far.

It’s not entirely clear what’s next for Yedlin. Last week, there was reporting that he was close to returning to MLS, with Inter Miami being the most likely destination. Not only does Miami have a personal connection with Yedlin through Chris Henderson, but they also hold the top spot in the Allocation Order and are in need of a right back. But Yedlin’s agent publicly disputed reports that a signing was imminent.

Around the same time, reports surfaced that Yedlin was in talks with Hull City about potentially returning to England. Hull are currently 19th in the EFL Championship, nine points clear of the relegation zone. Hull are also run by Tan Kesler, who helped bring Yedlin to Galatasaray last summer while working as an agent.

In the meantime, Yedlin remains with the United States men’s national team for a trio of World Cup qualifiers.



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Amber Brooks waived by OL Reign

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OL Reign bid farewell to Amber Brooks on Tuesday, announcing that the defender has been waived to allow her to pursue opportunities for more playing time with another club. Brooks was in her second stint with the Reign, having returned to the club ahead of the 2020 season.

“As our squad for the upcoming season evolved it became apparent that opportunities for Amber would be limited this year. After sharing these expectations with Amber, she and I agreed that her best option was a move to another team in the NWSL,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey in a team release. “We are hopeful that by making this move before preseason it provides Amber a well-deserved chance with another NWSL team. Amber has been an incredible professional during her time with the club and we wish her nothing but the best.”

Brooks previously played for the then-named Seattle Reign FC in 2015, making 12 appearances and scoring one goal for the NWSL Shield-winning side. In the following off-season she was traded to the Houston Dash, where she spent the next four years before returning to the Reign.

In 2020 she helped anchor the Reign backline during the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, making 8 appearances and scoring a goal against Portland. In 2021 she played in three of the team’s four Challenge Cup matches as well as making 11 appearances for 321 minutes in the regular season, but saw her playing time decrease as the season progressed and newly returned head coach Laura Harvey settled on a consistent backline which did not include her.



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