Daniel Rios glad to be with Atlanta United

Charlotte FC's Daniel Rios, front, becomes entangled with Orlando City's Robin Jansson, right, while trying to take a shot on goal during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Charlotte FC's Daniel Rios, front, becomes entangled with Orlando City's Robin Jansson, right, while trying to take a shot on goal during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Daniel Rios, Atlanta United’s newest signee, is expected to compete with Jamal Thiare for minutes at striker, he and manager Gonzalo Pineda said Thursday.

Rios’ loan from Chivas in LIGA MX was announced Wednesday. It was a move that Rios was expecting, but it happened sooner than he thought. Atlanta United, which will play at Toronto on Saturday, has only one striker on its roster because leading-scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis is with Greece for its Euro qualifying match.

“I’m happy to be here,” Rios said. “It’s a top club in MLS.”

Rios said he spoke with Pineda on Wednesday about bringing depth to the position. If Greece qualifies for the Euros, Giakoumakis could miss several more matches. The team needed competition at striker to complement what still is a very talented roster.

Rios has scored 61 goals in his career at first-division clubs, including at Nashville and Charlotte. He said his best attributes are his finishing, his left foot, movement within the 18-yard box and his ability to speak Spanish and English, which will make communicating easier within the team’s menagerie of languages spoken.

“I expect him to bring some energy, some professionalism,” Pineda said. “I have heard a lot of good things about him on a personal side, and then, of course, he will continue competing for a spot, as will everyone else. And when he’s on the field, I expect scoring some goals.”

Thursday was Rios’ first time training with the team. Midfielder Tristan Muyumba said Rios looked good during the drills in training.

Rios said he is available to play Saturday, assuming all of the paperwork is finalized.

Because he missed the team’s preseason work, Rios said it will take some time to build chemistry with his new teammates. He said it also will take time to adjust to a new team and city, but he hopes to adjust quickly.

“I can help the club in a lot of ways,” he said. “But specifically in my position, I say, scoring some goals to help the team to win games, obviously to close some games, to just add competition at striker.”

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

March 31 vs. Chicago, 3:30 p.m., FOX

April 6 at NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

April 14 vs. Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m., FOX

April 20 vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

April 27 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

May 4 vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

May 11 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

May 15 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

May 18 at Nashville, 1:30 p.m.

May 25 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

May 29 at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

June 2 vs Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FOX

June 15 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

June 19 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 22 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

June 29 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.