Atlanta United secures green card for Villalba

Atlanta United striker Hector Villaba is prepared to do a shot on goal for Toronto FC goal during the last game of the regular MLS season for both teams.

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Atlanta United striker Hector Villaba is prepared to do a shot on goal for Toronto FC goal during the last game of the regular MLS season for both teams.

Atlanta United has secured a U.S green card for Argentinian Hector Villalba, a move that opens one of the valuable International slots on the roster.

The midfielder scored 13 goals and added 11 assists during the team’s inaugural season.

The team secured green cards for several players last season, including Chris McCann (Ireland) and Kevin Kratz (Germany).

The team hasn’t released its preseason roster, but it will likely need to secure several more green cards because it is projected to have more players that will need to slide into one of the team’s eight International slots.

Among the other players occupying international slots are Julian Gressel (Germany), Romario Williams (Jamaica), Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Argentina), Miguel Almiron (Paraguay), Carlos Carmona (Chile) and Josef Martinez (Venezuela).

The team drafted three international players: Jon Gallagher (Ireland), Oliver Shannon (England) and Gordon Wild (Germany), in addition to acquiring Ezequiel Barco (Argentina), Franco Escobar (Argentina) and Jose Hernandez (Venezuela).

Technical director Carlos Bocanegra said the team is working to secure green cards for other players but declined to identify any.