Atlanta United practice report

Atlanta United is an expansion team in MLS.

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Atlanta United is an expansion team in MLS.

A recap of everything (that I know) that happened with Atlanta United today during its preseason training camp:

Big signings. First, there were two player announcements. The team is on the verge of signing Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, pending a physical . He's a centerhalf that would be a buy, not a loan as I surmised as possible.

Second was the signing of U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan , who will join the team at some point in July.

Practice report. I attended the second of two practices held Wednesday at the expansive IMG Academy. Seriously, the place is massively big.

Anyway, here’s what transpired:

The team started with stretching around 4:30 p.m.

That was followed by stretching and then some light jogging.

The players broke off into groups of five and did a passing drill designed to improve one-touch skills and quickness, with four players in a diamond shape and one in the middle.

Lastly, most of the practice was devoted to eight-on-eight scrimmages, with the players broken into three teams. One team would go to the side and the other two would compete.

Those who caught my eye. This may not mean anything in the long run, but these are the players that I thought looked better than average during the eight-on-eight drills:

Julian Gressel, the eighth pick in the SuperDraft, showed a nice touch and passing ability.

Miguel Almiron, though really skinny, made some solid, long passes across the field

Brandon Vazquez, though tall, looks to have the upper-body strength to compete in MLS.

Hector Villalba looked good when he had the ball. He’s very quick.

Personnel updates. Defender Zach Loyd is scheduled to join the team on Friday. Winger Jacob Peterson is not at training camp due to his wife giving birth. Goalkeeper Alex Kapp, selected in the fourth round, isn't yet at training camp because of an injury.

Trainees. There are two goalkeepers on trial with the team. They are MLS vet Kyle Reynish and Matias Reynares, formerly of Fort Lauderdale.

Tomorrow. I hope to post a Q&A with Kenwyne Jones in the morning. It will include his pick to win the Super Bowl. Barring news, and I expect there may be, I will post a feature on Mark Bloom, formerly a standout at Lassiter High and Berry College.