Asad was acquired by Atlanta on loan from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield last offseason. The 23-year-old attacker didn’t generate the same buzz as teammates Miguel Almiron or Josef Martinez, but was still hugely successful for the Five Stripes, tallying seven goals and 13 assists in 32 regular season matches.
Atlanta contacted Asad’s agent about acquiring him permanently following the season, but couldn’t come to an agreement, according to FutbolMLS.com’s Emmanuel Quispe. Asad is currently back in Argentina training with Velez Sarsfield.
“It’s a shame because my desire and intention was to stay in Atlanta, but they are decisions that go beyond me,” said Asad.
Asad, who scored the first goal in Atlanta history, said he doesn’t harbor any ill will toward the club, who are reportedly chasing highly-touted 18-year-old Argentine winger Ezequiel Barco as his replacement. Atlanta are in a protracted negotiation with Independiente to acquire Barco, with the Argentine club reportedly holding out for a $24 million transfer fee, a number that would shatter the previous MLS record.
“I believe that the leadership wants the best for the club and today they think it’s best to seek an alternative, be it Barco or whoever,” Asad said. “And no matter how much one agrees or disagrees, that is respected.”
Asad also complimented Atlanta manager Tata Martino, and said he one day hopes to return to MLS.
“I felt the affection of the people from the first day to the last,” he said. “I got the best of Atlanta, and the best thing about Atlanta is its people.”