Atlanta United added another piece to its roster puzzle Friday, acquiring U.S. national team left back Greg Garza on loan from Liga MX's Club Tijuana. In order to sign Garza, Atlanta traded a conditional 2018 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick to Columbus Crew SC for Garza's discovery rights, but the compensation will turn into allocation money if Garza starts in 12 games in 2017 or Atlanta exercises its option to buy in 2018.
Garza, 25, has nine caps with the U.S.–his last one came July 11, 2015, during the CONCACAF Gold Cup vs. Haiti–and he had been at Tijuana since 2011 as a part of Xolos's rise to prominence in Liga MX. He also played on loan at Atlas during his time in Mexico.
“Greg is a quality left back whose profile fits in nicely with our style of play,” Atlanta technical director and former U.S. left back Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He has the ability to get up-and-down the line to contribute to both sides of the ball, and his experience in Mexico, along with the U.S. national team, brings another quality dimension to our team.”
Garza joins a growing Atlanta defensive corps that also includes U.S. internationals Michael Parkhurst and Zach Loyd. The club is reportedly set to sign U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan from Middlesbrough this winter as well.