ATLANTA, Ga. — When he appeared on 92.9 The Game — an Atlanta-based sports talk radio show — Tuesday, Atlanta United F.C. President Darren Eales foreshadowed a bit of news that came later that day.
“We’re always looking to try to bring players in. We still have a slot spare from Carlos Carmona, who left us in preseason. Keep your eyes peeled,” Eales said. “There may be some news announced in the near future.”
Hours after Eales’ comments hit the airwaves and circled social media, the club revealed its latest addition from South America. The Five Stripes announced signed Argentine defensive midfielder Eric Remedi to a multi-year contract using targeted allocation money.
The deal is pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. If all of that goes as expected, Remedi will be available for selection for Atlanta United’s July 15 home match against the Seattle Sounders, the club’s first match after the Major League Soccer transfer window opens on July 10.
Remedi joining Atlanta United was first reported about two weeks ago by a journalist in Argentina.
A discovery signing, Remedi, 23, spent his entire career with Club Atlético Banfield, a team in Argentina’s Primera Division. He made his pro debut in 2015 and appeared in 68 games for the club. He often plays as a holding defensive midfielder but has also seen time at centerback.
Remedi anchored a Banfield defense that allowed 24 goals over a 27-game season.
The Five Stripes have been searching for depth in the defensive midfield since Carlos Carmona was sold to Chilean club Colo-Colo in February. Carmona’s departure was unexpected. The 31-year-old requested a transfer so he could be with his wife during her pregnancy.
Carmona appeared in 31 games for the Five Stripes last season. Jeff Larentowicz, 34, has started every game for Atlanta at defensive midfield this season, no matter the formation. Beyond Larentowicz, Atlanta has little depth at the position, save for second-year player Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, 18-year-old academy product Chris Goslin and veteran Chris McCann.
With Darlington Nagbe sidelined for two to three months due to an abductor injury, Atlanta manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino may use Remedi more as a No. 8 initially, having him play the role of a box-to-box midfielder and keeping Larentowicz at the defensive midfield spot.
Remedi stands 5 feet, 6 inches and is right-footed. Atlanta United hopes that — like some of his fellow young South American teammates — Remedi is full of untapped talent. A quick YouTube dive into his highlights shows he’s nimble, energetic, quick, tough, durable and has a key timing on tackles.
Last season for Banfield, Remedi averaged nearly five interceptions, nine ball recoveries and 10 defensive duels per-match. He was also accurate on 83 percent of his passes.
There is one hurdle the club must clear within the next two weeks for Remedi eligible by the time the July 10 transfer window opens. Atlanta’s 30-man roster is full and so are it’s seven slots for international players — those are being occupied by Josef Martínez, Julian Gressel, Miguel Almirón, Franco Escobar, Ezequiel Barco, Leandro González Pírez and Jon Gallagher.
Atlanta has worked with several of its players, like Héctor “Tito” Villalba and Romario Williams, to acquire green cards. If one of the seven mentioned were to get one, that would free up an international slot.
Atlanta could also loan a player to ATL UTD 2, its United Soccer League affiliate. It could kill two birds with one stone by making that move with Gallagher, who hasn’t played in an MLS game this year, but has starred for ATL UTD 2, tallying five goals and an assist in 13 USL appearances.
Strong, quick, and powerful 💪
A glimpse at what Eric Remedi brings to the club. pic.twitter.com/2Phqa4p8tV
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) June 26, 2018