Atlanta United declines to confirm two player additions

Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda on Monday declined to confirm two reports that the MLS club is on the verge of acquiring two players from LIGA MX on loan.

Reports from Daniel Nudar and Vladimar Garcia, and Rene Tovar over the weekend had the club adding centerback Juan Jose Sanchez Purata from Tigres and goalkeeper Raul Gudino, formerly of Chivas.

Atlanta United is missing two goalkeepers, Brad Guzan and Dylan Castanheira, and centerback Miles Robinson, because of Achilles tendon ruptures.

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“Until this is official, I cannot say anything,” Pineda said. “I’m sorry on that. But what I can tell you is yes, we’ve been looking for players to come to the team and try to impact in the second half of the season.”

Pineda said the club is looking to add competition to each of its lines. The club will also be without Ozzie Alonso for the rest of the season because of an ACL injury, and may be without fullbacks Andrew Gutman (quad; 2-3 months) and Ronald Hernandez (MCL; 3-4 months) because of injuries.

If the two Mexican players join, they would be the third and fourth players to come to the club from LIGA MX. The first was Jurgen Damm, whose contract was bought out before this season, and Ronaldo Cisneros, who is currently on loan from Chivas. Cisneros said he would like to remain with the team.

Sanchez Purata, 24, has 34 appearances across all comps for Tigres since 2017. Sanchez Purata is almost 6-foot-2. His height could help the club improve its defense against set pieces. It has given up eight goals from set pieces this season.

Gudino, 26, is 6-4. He made 85 appearances for Chivas as part of 168 appearances as a professional.

The possible influx of Mexican players to the squad may be a reflection of the hiring of Pineda last season. Pineda is a native of Mexico. He downplayed that link Monday, saying the players in the league now were too young to remember when he played. It could also be a product of the hiring of Tom Marshall, a former journalist who covered LIGA MX, to the team’s scouting department.

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 vs. Miami, 3 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas