Marcelino Moreno iso - Atlanta United - October 10, 2020
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United star signing Marcelino Moreno make his debut: Here's how it went

Atlanta United's newest Designated Player, Marcelino Moreno, made his club debut in the 1-0 Week 17 loss against the New York Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Moreno, who was acquired on September 22 on a transfer from Argentine side Lanus, was named to the starting lineup and donned the No. 10 jersey. He played 61 minutes before coming off for Adam Jahn.

  • Goals/Assists: 0
  • Shots/Shots on Target: 0
  • Touches: 28
  • Pass Completion: 61.5% (8 of 13 total pass attempts)
  • Pass Completion in Final Third: 50%
  • Successful Dribbles: 1 out of 4 attempts
  • Tackle Success: 100% (1 tackle)
  • Duel Success: 58.3%
  • Aerial Duels Won: 66.7%
  • Ball Recoveries: 2
  • Fouls Suffered: 3

"I think he was fantastic," Atlanta interim head coach Stephen Glass said. "Everyone can see the qualities he had. He obviously tired a little bit in the second half. It was a lot to ask of him, but I think he showed why we had the belief to put him in the starting lineup, as well, and the quality and why he's at the club."

According to the FOX sports match broadcasters, Moreno was inserted into the starting lineup on the same day he completed the mandatory 10-day quarantine period and he met many of his teammates for the first time on matchday. Moreno had been training individually during the quarantine period.

"I think you've got a really good footballer that showed he's able to fit into our group of players. Really late yesterday and early today we were able to show him more video of the team because we've not been able to have him around the group. Personally, I've seen him doing his individual trainings, but again as an indication of the fact that we have not bent the rules in any way, I have not been able to be around him. So I've not seen much of him at all.

"He got his instruction quite clear today as part of the video group today obviously because he's with us. Other than that, we're just trusting he's a very good footballer who knows how to play. He almost repaid the belief that we put in him today to put him in the starting lineup. And I think he showed he's going to be a fantastic player for the club. I think putting him in the group today means we're going to get more from him sooner, rather than waiting and giving him 20 minutes today and hoping he can start later."

Watch: Marcelino Moreno debut reel

The 25-year-old Argentine was acquired to replace Pity Martinez, who was transferred to Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr for a reported eight-figure fee.

Moreno hails from the same Argentine club where Miguel Almiron rose to stardom before joining Atlanta. After a stellar two seasons with ATLUTD, Almiron was signed by English Premier League side Newcastle United on a club record transfer in January 2019.

"I thought it was a good performance for him considering the circumstances were incredibly difficult," teammate Jeff Larentowicz said. "He literally just kind of walked in and it was our first opportunity to really get to talk to him face to face. But he was out there, he was dangerous, he was causing problems. He took a smack in the face and kept going. I think it was a good debut."