Atlanta United Vice President Carlos Bocanegra shared several bits of information Tuesday after explaining why the team agreed to trade Julian Gressel to D.C. United:
Andrew Carleton will be loaned to Indianapolis for the season. Bocanegra said it may be good for Carleton to get out of Atlanta. Carleton, the team’s first Homegrown signing, made two starts as part of 11 appearances the past three seasons.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was sold to Tijuana for reasons similar to why Gressel was traded to D.C. United: It’s tough to reward players for performance in a salary-cap league. Bocanegra said Gonzalez Pirez didn’t ask to be sold and was happy in Atlanta. Manager Frank de Boer said last week that Gonzalez Pirez wanted a fresh start somewhere.
Centerback Fernando Meza reminds Bocanegra of Michael Parkhurst with his ability on the ball, his mobility and his cerebral approach to the game. Meza was bought from Necaxa after a brief stop in Tijuana. Bocanegra was asked why Meza had to go to Tijuana before coming to MLS. He didn’t explain why.
The team is still looking for a replacement for Darlington Nagbe, who was traded to Columbus in November. Bocanegra said he is confident a deal will be done but that the team isn’t going to force a buy.
Asked what happens if after the new collective bargaining agreement is complete there is no more Targeted Allocation Money, Bocanegra said the team doesn’t have much information and is taking it as it is. The MLS Players Association is in negotiations with the league over a new CBA. The current one expires Jan. 31. The team received $900,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $150,000 General Allocation Money in exchange for Nagbe and as much as $1.1 million in Targeted Allocation Money for Gressel.
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