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Atlanta United signs Asiedu, sends Hernandez and Okonkwo to USL

Jan 5, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Sergio Rivas (82) watches as Anderson Aside (right) and Siad Haji (center) battle for the ball during the Adidas MLS Soccer Combine at Orlando City SC Stadium. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

A day after advancing to the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League with a 4-0 win over CS Herediano, Atlanta United FC announced a few roster moves.

On Friday, the Five Stripes agreed to terms with first-round MLS SuperDraft pick Anderson Asiedu. The terms of the deal for the 22-year-old UCLA product were not disclosed.

“After a good college career, we targeted Anderson in the SuperDraft as a midfielder who could immediately compete at a high level,” Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He’s proven that during preseason, and he’s earned a spot on our roster.”

A native of Ghana, Asiedu was the 24th overall pick in the 2019 SuperDraft after twice being named to the All Pac-12 team at UCLA. A 5-foot-6 midfielder, he tallied four assists and three goals in two seasons with the Bruins.

Additionally, Atlanta United said Friday it would loan a pair of young players — Jose Hernandez and Patrick Okonkwo — to its USL Championship affiliate, ATL UTD 2, for the 2019 season.

Okonkwo, 20, is an Atlanta United homegrown forward who has yet to appear in a game for the club. A native of Nigeria who moved to Georgia, Okonkwo signed on with Atlanta United in 2017. He’s spent parts of the past two MLS seasons on loan with the Charleston Battery, also of the USL Championship. In 29 appearances with Charleston, the 6-foot forward tallied six goals and one assist.

Hernandez, 21, spent most of last season with ATL UTD 2, making 10 starts over 14 appearances, mostly at left back. The Venezuelan defender did make one MLS appearance, playing 17 minutes on Sept. 22 in a 2-0 win at Real Salt Lake. Hernandez joined the Five Stripes as a discovery signing in December 2017, but battled injuries early on in his tenure with the club. He has represented his native country at the U-17 and U-20 levels, and captained Venezuela in the 2017 U-20 World Cup, where it lost in the final to England.

Atlanta United begins its MLS Cup defense on Sunday, taking on D.C. United at Audi Field. ATL UTD 2 will begin its second USL season on March 9, hosting Hartford Athletic at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.

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