Report: U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan will sign with MLS expansion club Atlanta United
U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan appears to be on his way back to MLS.
According to ESPNFC's Taylor Twellman, Guzan will sign with 2017 expansion club Atlanta United FC for its inaugural season. Guzan, 32, is in the middle of his first season at Middlesbrough, but he has not had consistent playing time at the Premier League club, which he joined after Aston Villa was relegated last season. Guzan has started just two of the team's 14 Premier League games and a League Cup game while playing behind established Spanish veteran Victor Valdes.
Guzan, who began his career with Chivas USA in 2005 before a 2008 move to Villa, had retreated to be Tim Howard's backup on the U.S. national team under Jurgen Klinsmann as a result. With Howard, who himself returned to MLS this past year with Colorado, out after groin surgery, Guzan figures to be Bruce Arena's top option for the No. 1 job, at least until the former returns.
A move to Atlanta would reunite Guzan with former U.S. teammate and club technical director Carlos Bocanegra, and it would signify another substantial move for the team. It has already signed touted young Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almirón and Premier League veteran Kenwyne Jones in addition to rising U.S. teenagers Brandon Vazquez and Andrew Carleton. According to SI's Grant Wahl, Atlanta is also still hot on the trail of Mexico star Andres Guardado. The club has one goalkeeper on its roster–its first signing, Alexander Tambakis.
Guzan is on MLS's select list of players who are subjected to the league's allocation order, which is reserved for U.S. national team players coming to the league or players returning to the league after they were sold for a substantial transfer fee. As a result of the priority draft in which expansion sides Atlanta and Minnesota participated in October, Atlanta won the right to top that order, meaning it would have first crack at a player like Guzan through that mechanism. Minnesota would move to the top of the list should Atlanta use its place on Guzan.