Atlanta United announce signing of Irish midfielder Chris McCann

Chris McCann - Wigan Athletic - August 2015

Atlanta United on Wednesday announced the signing of 28-year-old Irish midfielder Chris McCann, who most recently played with Wigan Athletic in the English Championship.

Atlanta say they plan to loan him out until January 2017, when he joins the MLS expansion club for preseason ahead of their debut campaign.

“We are thrilled Chris has chosen to sign for Atlanta United, he is a player we feel will be very important as we build our roster,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “With over 350 first team appearances and premiership experience, he will bring a valuable veteran presence onto the field and into our locker room.”

The former Irish youth international joined Burnley in 2005, making over 200 appearances and scoring 27 goals for the club, which he helped lead to Premier League promotion under former Houston Dynamo manager Owen Coyle. When McCann moved to Wigan on a free transfer in 2013, he once again was reunited with Coyle.

“We see Chris coming in to play a midfield role, but having the capacity to play in defense as well,” Bocanegra added in the statement. “He has good versatility, technical ability and can contribute with goals and assists from various positions on the field.”

Atlanta United have now made a total of five signings, including McCann: Homegrown player Andrew Carleton (June 9), Junior Burgos (February 2 -- loaned to Tampa Bay Rowdies), Ghanaian teenager Jeffrey Otoo (June 1) and their first-ever signing 23-year-old goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis (January 25), who is currently playing for USL affiliate Charleston Battery.