Atlanta United swaps one centerback for another

Toronto FC's Jayden Nelson (left) controls the ball as Atlanta United's Fernando Meza defends during the second half Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in East Hartford, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP)
Toronto FC's Jayden Nelson (left) controls the ball as Atlanta United's Fernando Meza defends during the second half Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in East Hartford, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta United continues to roll through centerbacks.

Going out on loan to Defensa y Justicia is Fernando Meza. The loan expires June 30, with an option for the Argentinian club to purchase Meza. Atlanta United on Thursday confirmed the news, first reported by CL Merlo.

Coming in is Velez Sarsfield’s Lautaro Giannetti, according to a report from journalist German Garcia Grova. Details are being worked out on the contract. Atlanta United, through a spokesman, declined to comment on Giannetti.

The transfer window in Argentina closed Thursday night.

Giannetti, 27, played for new Atlanta United manager Gabriel Heinze at Velez.

It seems like an odd exchange, unless Meza wanted to leave or if Giannetti is coming in at a salary much lower than Meza’s. Giannetti would occupy the International spot on Atlanta United’s roster that was occupied by Meza.

Meza, 30, spent just one season with the Five Stripes after he was purchased from Necaxa in Mexico. He came in as replacement for Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Meza started 13 games and expressed disappointment with his performances after the season, saying he was looking forward to this season because he felt he could improve.

Giannetti has spent his career playing for Velez. He has 114 appearances for the club.

After the moves, Atlanta United still remains thin at the position with just Miles Robinson and Anton Walkes as the two players in the group with experience playing in MLS. The others in the pool are Homegrown signings George Campbell and Efrain Morales.

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