Atlanta United have been busy before the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens, completing two moves ahead of its July 7 start date.
Those players, as announced this week, are goalkeeper Raul Gudino (free, ex-Chivas) and center back Juan José Purata (loan from Tigres). They bring Liga MX experience and fill positions of need after two of Atlanta’s top players – center back Miles Robinson and goalkeeper Brad Guzan – both suffered season-ending Achilles injuries.
But could more reinforcements be on the way?
“Maybe. This time is sensitive,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said after training Thursday. “It's not good to talk because what if it doesn't come, what if maybe two or three – you never know. We will see. They are working on that, I know that. They are working very hard on something else.”
As for positions Atlanta might be looking to address? Pineda remained open-ended there too.
“There are some positions we are looking at, it's not just one,” he said. “That's why I cannot trim it down for you.”
The former Seattle Sounders FC assistant coach did say that Atlanta are exploring how to fill their open U22 Initiative slot. Central midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra carry that roster tag, with the third spot open after forward Erik Lopez’s wintertime loan to Argentine Primera División side Banfield.
MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert has previously reported that Atlanta looked into signing US men’s national team forward Matthew Hoppe, who’s coming off a spectator-filled first season at LaLiga side Mallorca.
Whatever the outcome, Pineda is focused on creating depth throughout Atlanta’s roster so they’re well-prepared to tackle the second half of the 2022 campaign.
“We have enough competition, that's what I want to get,” Pineda said. “Always the ability to push the starter with another player that can also be a starter in certain points of the season, and that already happened after 13 games. I think everyone played at least one minute, and that's [uncommon]. That speaks very high about the way we build the roster and the types of players we have.”
The Five Stripes, currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings, return to action in MLS Week 16 when visiting Toronto FC on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).