Atlanta United Football Club enters the international break coming off of two consecutive victories by a combined score of 10-1. In their last two matches, Atlanta has established a Tiki-Taka style of play with incessant attacking, swift movement and incisive passing that unlocks defenses. With the early success, it can be said the international break comes at a bad time. However, defender Michael Parkhurst said it will not affect the team’s momentum.
“I won’t say it’s a horrible time, but unfortunate,” Parkhurst said. “You know we’ve got a lot of momentum right now. 10 goals in 2 games. But it gives the guys a change to get some training in, work on some things you know we’ll miss just a handful of guys who will go with their national teams and we’ll be ready. You know it’s unfortunate, coming out of the break, we play on a Friday but you know it is what it is. We know that we’ve got a tough stretch of games coming up and we know we’ve got to get results.”
Meanwhile, Miguel Almirón, Carlos Carmona, Kenwyne Jones and Josef Martinez were called-up to represent their respective countries for important 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches from today through next Wednesday. Almirón, 23, joins Paraguay for CONMBEOL qualifiers against Ecuador today and Brazil on March 28. Carmona will represent Chile in matches against Argentina on March 23 and Venezuela on March 28. Jones, a 32-year-old forward and captain for Trinidad and Tobago, will rejoin his national side for qualifiers today against Panama and March 28 against Mexico. Martinez, 23, joins Venezuela for qualifiers today against Peru and March 28 against Chile, featuring current Atlanta teammate Carmona.
Tuesday, Atlanta announced their forward Josef Martinez has been signed to a long-term contract. Terms were not disclosed.
“The loan deal had an option to make the transfer permanent which we have now triggered as planned,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “Josef has been a fantastic addition to our club and it’s clear he has the ability to continuing making an impact in our league.”